Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi at ThePrint's Democracy wall in Kolkata | ThePrint
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi at ThePrint's Democracy wall in Kolkata | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Stressing the need to have a fast-tracked justice system, Shiv Sena deputy leader Priyanka Chaturvedi Saturday said the encounter of the four accused in the Hyderabad rape and murder case is perhaps the only way to teach “these culprits” a lesson.

Chaturvedi while interacting with the audience asked if they felt a sense of relief after the encounter and whether the incident made them feel safe.

“You hoped it would be the criminal justice system that would give them the justice they deserved. But can I tell you all today, very honestly, that some part of me felt that perhaps this is the only way (the encounter), these culprits will learn a lesson,” she said at the fifth edition of the ThePrint’s Democracy Wall.

“I am ashamed to say that…Nirbhaya’s (16 December gang rape victim) family is still struggling to get them (accused) to the gallows, still running court to court to find out about the mercy petition. It fills me with shame that she has followed the due course hoping justice will be done but that has not happened,” said Chaturvedi. 

Democracy Wall is a free-speech campus initiative. The latest edition was held at Kolkata’s National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS).

‘Women leaders must seek accountability for sexual crimes’

The Shiv Sena leader also said that no political party can take a moral high ground and say they have done more for women than other parties as rapes have been happening time and again.

Taking a dig at the BJP-led central government, Chaturvedi said democracy is about dissent, discussion and debate, but people are labelled “anti-Indians” if one differs with them. 

“As soon as I say I have a problem with the idea that you are talking about, suddenly you become anti-Indian and if you are against a particular policy then you are termed anti-Hindu. We should allow discussion and debate and especially women of all political parties have to rise above their politics. Don’t make it about your party or government,” she said.  

Commenting on the recent Unnao case, she asked women politicians to seek accountability from states that have not utilised their ‘Nirbhaya funds’ until now.

Asked to comment on the Shiv Sena severing ties with the BJP and forming the government in Maharashtra with the NCP and Congress, Chaturvedi said the BJP back-stabbed the Sena. 

“Ajit Pawar (allegedly involved in an irrigation scam) had sought a white paper on the issue and a white paper was issued. In the past five years, it was a BJP government and they did zilch about it. But soon the BJP faced another election and for whatever commitments they made to the alliance (with Sena), they back out and the person who became CM of Maharashtra on the back of that scam ended up aligning with them (NCP),” she said.

“You realise that those were mere allegations that were used politically to raise the profile of the BJP in Maharashtra because those scams… so-called scams were shut in just 24 hours…the cost of supporting the remote-control nationalistic party. We need to understand which scams are being used politically,” she added.

On the Sena flip-flop over supporting the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Chaturvedi said, “We stood up in the Lok Sabha and categorically stated that this is creating an invisible divide between religions and a bill should not be used to create political vote bank and which is why in Rajya Sabha we chose to walkout.”

Talking about Shiv Sena, Chaturvedi said she is proud to be a part of a party that seeks accountability for anyone who misbehaves with women in Maharashtra.

“We will seek the same accountability from our alliance partners as well,” she added.

Also read: No outrage unless Hyderabad, Unnao, Kathua-like rape: UN Resident Coordinator in India


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