GUWAHATI, Auig 14: Several hundred women activists of Assam Pradesh Mahila Congress (APMC) on Tuesday took out a protest rally from Manadendra Sarma Complex here demanding ouster of Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain from the Union cabinet for allegedly raping two sisters under the pretext of providing jobs in the ministry.
The rally led by all India Mahila Congress (AIMC) president and MP Susmita Dev and Assam Pradesh Mahila Congress (APMC) president Sehnaz Haque demanded resignation of the Union minister and urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ensure strictest action against him.
An FIR was filed against Gohain on August 2 on charges of alleged rape and sexual assault under Sections 417, 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code in Assam’s Nagaon, according to the Nagaon police.
Dev came down heavily on the BJP for ” its failure to protect the women of the country” and said, “These are the same people who used provocative and emotionally charged slogans to woo the people of the country before 2014 elections. And now, their cabinet ministers are being charged with sexual assault and rapes, yet the party maintains silence and action is hardly taken against those involved in such cases.”
Enlisting cases in which BJP leaders were allegedly involved, Dev mentioned alleged rape cases in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district and Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua city. In Unno, BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger is the key accused in the alleged rape of a minor girl. In Kathua, BJP Ministers were found participating in a rally in support of those involved in an eight-year-old girl’s alleged rape.
Accusing the BJP of silence in the Muzaffarpur shelter home alleged rapes, Dev said that none of the BJP top ministers found time to even tweet on the issue. The BJP could have come down heavily on their alliance partner Nitish Kumar in Bihar, she added.
Dev further said, “You stood with the rapists, and now you are silent on the matter of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, and on similar cases emerging from Pratapgarh and Deoria.” Even the resignation of Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma happened under media pressure, she added.