In the run up to women’s day on March 8, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW)'s ‘rape roko’ campaign has received the much-required impetus. The DCW chief Swati Maliwal had launched the campaign on January 31 after the brutal rape of an eight-month-old baby by her 27-year-old cousin.
To urge the government to create a robust judicial and criminal review system, Maliwal launched a ‘Satyagraha’, pledging not to return home until March 8 and the staff of the Commission had also joined in the satyagraha. The Commission has remained open 24 hours and will remain so until March 8, when they would take a relook at the campaign which has raised six demands.
The ‘rape roko’ campaign has demanded that the Centre pass a strong law to ensure death penalty to rapists of children within six months. The Commission wants the Centre and state to set up additional fast track courts to ensure that cases of rapes of children and women are tried on a daily basis.
Delhi Police has been demanding 66,000 police personnel from the Centre for 10 years, but it hasn’t been provided. The commission demands that the required police personnel be immediately provided to Delhi Police to curb the growing crimes in the Capital and that the Centre must take immediate steps to digitise the functioning of Delhi police so as to fix its accountability towards its citizens.
“The state should strengthen the functioning of the Forensic Science laboratory and prosecution department and the Centre should use the Nirbhaya fund immediately for the welfare of women and girls,” Maliwal has demanded.
The Commission has obtained signatures of more than 1.5 lakh people on letters containing commission's demands and the Commission hopes to send these letters to the Prime Minister.
The ‘rape roko’ campaign has just got support from actor Farhan Akhtar, musicians Shankar Mahadevan, Caralisa Monteiro, Luke Kenny, Anushka Manchanda, Mahalakshmi Aiyyar. They will be releasing a video in support of the ‘rape roko’ movement. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the district court bar associations have also extended their support to the movement.