Five years ago, a brutal gang rape in Delhi that led to the death of a young physiotherapist drew widespread public attention to the increasing crimes of a heinous nature against women and children. It compelled leading political parties to hold forth on the rising graph of crimes, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was then in the opposition, projected the incident as a symbol of the law and order situation under the then United Progressive Alliance regime led by the Congress.
The abduction, gang rape and murder of an eight year-old in Kathua in Jammu district of Jammu and Kashmir by eight persons in January this year and the almost year-long sexual exploitation of a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, allegedly involving a legislator from the ruling BJP are incidents that bring back the horrific memories of the 2012 incident and are symbolic of the violence against women and children in general. In Kathua, 90 kilometres from Jammu, the body of the little girl who had gone missing was found in a forest area on January 17. The Crime Branch of the State police investigated the case, and the charge sheet, close to 500 pages long, was filed and the trial was to begin in the Sessions Court in April when the incident roused public opprobrium because of the open support given to the accused by two BJP Ministers—Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh—in the coalition government the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is running with the BJP in the State.