Decentralised protests erupted across Kalaburagi district on Thursday condemning the rape and murder of 14-year-old girl at a village in Aland taluk on Tuesday evening.
Activists associated with various organisations, including Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha and All India Kisan Sabha, staged a demonstration outside Mini Vidhana Soudha in Aland condemning the crime and demanding compensation for the kin of victim.
“The perpetrators of the crime should be punished. A government job should be given to a family member of the victim apart from giving cash compensation,” Maula Mulla, a leader of All India Kisan Sabha demanded during the agitation. A memorandum, addressed to the Governor, was later submitted to the office of Tahashildar.
In another protest in Aland, Janata Dal (Secular) members blocked the Aland main road protesting against the rape and murder of the minor girl. Led by Maheshwari Wali, the party workers burnt tyres and sat in protest on the Karnataka-Maharashtra interstate highway blocking the vehicular movement.
“It is a heinous crime. The perpetrator of the crime should be hanged to death. The punishment should be a lesson to others. There are government-run residential schools in the area and the concerned authorities have not put minimum security measures such as installing CCTV cameras. The district administration should take the incident seriously,” she said.
In Kalaburagi, hundreds of Congress party workers gathered at the office of the Deputy Commissioner and staged a demonstration demanding ₹25 lakh compensation to the victim’s family. Led by District Congress Committee president Jagadev Guttedar and former legislator Allamprabhu Patil, the party workers raised slogans against the State government for its failures to maintain law and order in the State. A memorandum addressed to Chief Minister was later submitted to the office of Deputy Commissioner.
In another protest at the district headquarters, Dourjanya Virodhi Vedike, a conglomerate of different civil society organisations against atrocities, staged a protest demonstration outside the office of Deputy Commissioner.
Referring to the arrest of a minor boy in connection with the case and his habit of watching porn videos, the agitating activists demanded the government to impose curbs on porn sites. They also blamed the government for the incident by stating that the absence of a functional toilet at the victim’s home led to rape and murder.
“Most of the rapes and murders in rural areas happen when the women go out for defecation, just has it happened in the Aland case. If there was a functional toilet at the girl’s home, she wouldn’t have to go out for defecation and fall prey to the criminals. Under Swachh Bharat Mission, a huge amount of public money was misappropriated in the name of building individual toilets for rural households. The district was even declared open defecation-free on paper. As a matter of fact, most of the households don’t have functional toilets even today,” K. Neela, state vice-president of All India Democratic Women’s Association, said during the protest.
Rashtriya Bhajaranga Dal and Karnataka Pradesh Kurubara Sangha are among the other organisations that stage separate protest demonstrations in Kalaburagi condemning the crime.