Nation must unite to protect children: Rahul on Mandsaur gang rape

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday voiced his angst against the brutal gang rape and assault of an eight-year-old schoolgirl in Madhya Pradesh and said the nation must come together to protect the children.

The Congress party asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he would intervene and ensure that speedy justice was delivered while asking Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan if he had the “moral authority” to continue in his position.

“In Mandsaur, an eight-year-old girl was kidnapped and gang-raped, and is battling for her life. The brutality this young child was subjected to sickens me. As a nation, we must come together to protect our children and bring the attackers to speedy justice,” Gandhi tweeted.

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said: “Will he ensure that no politics is played over this entire incident and the girls of the country find a safe environment to live and grow happily? It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the government.”

The child was abducted while she was waiting for her father outside her school on Tuesday.

She was gang-raped, her throat slit and left to die. A day later, the Madhya Pradesh Police arrested Irfan alias Bhaiyu, 20, a labourer, on the basis of CCTV footage.

On Friday, the police made arrest of another construction worker, Asif, 24, after Irfan named him as an accomplice. Both were booked under relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act while the probe continued.

Doctors treating the victim in Indore said she was “severely assaulted”. She has started showing signs of improvement, they said, adding that the minor might be out of danger physically but her mental trauma would last longer.

Chaturvedi said: “Three cities of Madhya Pradesh are among the 15 cities, considered most unsafe in India. I would want to ask Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, who calls himself a ‘mama’ that the world and this country also remembers another ‘infamous Mama’ that he has turned out to be.

“On what moral grounds and what moral authority the Chief Minister continues to be in that position?” she added.

Chaturvedi said: “In terms of insensitivity, the incident has reached its peak when a BJP MLA from Indore introduces the MP of Mandsaur to the parents of the victim and says how they should feel glad that he has paid them a visit.”

“What are you trying to prove? Is this not your job or a responsibility? Should you not feel ashamed of yourself for trying to gain brownie points out of his visit?” she said.

“This is more shameful and shows the mentality that prevails in the BJP and how they are willing to gain political mileage out of every single sad and damning incident taking place,” she added.

Chouhan on Friday condemned the incident and said that rapists were a “burden on the earth” and his government would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the accused were hanged.