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India
16 Apr 2018

Unnao, Kathua rapes are post-independent India's "darkest hour", say ex-bureaucrats

In an open letter to PM Narendra Modi, a group of 49 retired civil servants said this is India's "darkest hour" post-independence.

The remark came in the backdrop of the Unnao and Kathua rape cases while holding Prime Minister responsible for the "terrifying state of affairs".

They said instead of owning up and making reparations, the PM chose to remain quiet.

Here's more.

In context

Ex-bureaucrats write to PM on Unnao, Kathua cases
Modi called both rape cases a "shame" for country

Breaks silence

Modi called both rape cases a "shame" for country

The group of former bureaucrats also said Modi broke his silence only when public outrage both in India and internationally reached a point when he could no longer ignore it.

On Friday, Modi called the incidents of rapes of minors in Unnao and Kathua a "shame" for the country and asserted that the guilty would not be spared and daughters would get justice.

Depths of cruelty

The rape of Kathua girl shows depths of depravity

Referring to the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, the letter said the "bestiality and the barbarity" shows the depths of depravity the country has sunk to.

The letter said it is the "culture of majorities belligerence and aggression promoted by the Sangh Parivar" which emboldened "rabid communal elements" to pursue their perverse agenda.

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Of 49 ex-bureaucrats, some names who wrote to PM

The 49 former bureaucrats include former Pune Police Commissioner Meeran Borwankar, former Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro, RTI activist Aruna Roy and former Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.

Uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution, says letter

Values

Uphold the values enshrined in the Constitution, says letter

"Had hoped that as someone sworn to upholding the Constitution, the Government...and the party to which you belong would wake up to this alarming decline, take the lead in stemming the rot and reassure everyone, especially the minorities and vulnerable sections of society that they need not fear for their life and liberty," the letter stated.

"This hope has been destroyed," it said.

Mafia dons

Former bureaucrats also raised Unnao rape case

The letter also raised the Unnao rape issue where a teen alleged that she had been raped by a legislator of ruling BJP.

The former bureaucrats said, the "reliance on the worst kinds of patriarchal feudal Mafia Dons" to capture votes and political power gives such persons the freedom to rape and murder and extort as a way of asserting their own personal power."

BJP-ruled states

Bureaucrats asked Modi to fast-track the prosecution of perpetrators

In both states, UP and J&K, where the rapes happened, the BJP is in power.

They asked Modi to reach out to Unnao and Kathua victims' families and "seek their forgiveness on behalf of all of us".

Bureaucrats also asked Modi to fast-track the prosecution of the perpetrators in Kathua case and set up a court directed Special Investigative Team in Unnao incident.

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