In a show of opposition unity against the ruling NDA, politicians including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi, Sharad Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, Jitan Manjhi and D Raja joined RJC leader Tejashwi Yadav’s call for a march at Jantar Mantar to protest the mass rapes at of 34 minors at Muzaffarpur shelter homes in Bihar.
Leading the protest, Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi said, “We have come to Delhi because my chacha’s (Nitish Kumar) soul has not woken up yet to these crimes. He says there is a rule of law in Bihar, if that is so, why did Nitish Kumar ask the police to remove Brajesh Thakur’s name from the FIR. In 2013, Brajesh Thakur (the main accused) joined the JD-U. Nitish Kumar should clarify on this. The Chief Minister has even visited Thakur's residence.”
“The FIR was registered after two months. Why? I am ashamed of being a Bihari. In Bihar, it is not ‘jungle raj’, but ‘rakshas raj’,” said Tejashwi to a supportive crowd.
He said there was no news of the victims who had now been shifted to another shelter home in Madhubani being run by an aide of one Sanjay Jha "who is a close aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar"
In his brief address to the protesters, Congress President, Rahul Gandhi said, “We have gathered here for the women of our country and we stand with them. If Nitish ji is really feeling ashamed then he should take immediate action.” He alleged that weaker sections were under attack by the Narendra Modi government and now it would be the BJP-RSS ideology versus the rest of India.
"On one side it is the RSS-BJP ideology and on the other the rest of India," thundered Gandhi while addressing the gathering of hundreds at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital.
“You see how the opposition stands united here. India stands united while the BJP and RSS stand on the other side. It will be more visible very soon. India is saying that whatever happened in the last four years was not good... There were attacks on the Indian culture. But when Indians make up their mind, no one stands a chance against them," pointed out Gandhi.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who also supported the protest, alleged that "no action was taken" even when the Bihar government was alerted by some NGOs that all was not right.
Children were being raped and government funds kept pouring in. Those who provide sanctuary to the accused are even bigger culprits... I want to warn them,” said the Aam Aadmi Party chief. He demanded completion of investigation in three months and death penalty for the culprits.
Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi said it was shameful that "India's introduction is given in terms of incidents of rapes”.
Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav said, “BJP is going around saving cows, but our mothers and sisters are being crushed under with their brutal hands. A commission must be set up under a judge to investigate shelter homes around the country.”
Supporting the protest, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “If we want to save India, then we will have to remove Modi from the Centre and Modi-supported Nitish from Patna. NDA se beti bachao.”
Yechury said there was no other remedy to this than capital punishment for the culprits. "The slogan has now changed to 'BJP se beti bachao'. I haven't seen such inhumanity ever before. All this anarchy which we are seeing today, cannot have happened without the shelter of the BJP... We have to remove these parties from power from Centre and state,” said Yechury.
Raja said Nitish Kumar should not continue as the Bihar Chief Minister after the "horrific and barbaric" rape of minors in Muzaffarpur.
"He has no moral right to continue. I also wish to question Prime Minister Narendra Modi about what is happening to our daughters. The Prime Minister should ask Nitish Kumar to act. It's a shame. The fight is for justice. The CPI is with Bihar and Tejashwi."
Jantar Mantar had come alive nine months after the National Green Tribunal ordered the Delhi government to stop all protests at the site. However, the Supreme Court reversed the order on July 23.