I Can be Raped Too, Fears Kathua Rape Victim Family’s Lawyer

I Can be Raped Too, Fears Kathua Rape Victim Family’s Lawyer

India
I don’t know for how long I will be alive. I can be raped, my modesty can be outraged, I can be killed, I can be damaged. I was threatened yesterday when someone told me, ‘we will not forgive you.’ I am going to tell the Supreme Court tomorrow that I am in danger.
Deepika Singh Rajawat, Kathua rape victim’s family lawyer, to ANI

The Kathua rape victim’s family lawyer, Deepika Singh Rajawat, has started to fear for her life and safety. Along with Talib Hussain, a leader of the Gujjar Bakarwal community, Rajawat came to Delhi on Sunday, 15 April, to attend the the protest organised against the Kathua rape case at the Parliament Street.

When The Quint asked her if she was threatened or intimidated by anyone from the Bar Association, she said that BS Slathia, head of the Jammu High Court Bar Association, did, in fact, threaten her.

Recalling what happened that day, Rajawat said:

On 4 April, Slathia came to me and said, “Look we are on strike, you shouldn’t appear for any case.”

She responded saying she wasn’t a member of the Jammu Bar Association and had important cases to appear for, to which Slathia allegedly said, “If you won’t stop, I know the means to stop you. Gandgi phailane ki zaroorat nahi hain (You don’t need to spread muck around).”

“I got a bit scared and intimidated, and felt that this man could harm me,” Rajawat told The Quint.

Did she ask for security?

“Chances of anything happening to me outside the court premises are thin. But inside the court premises, I am vulnerable to humiliation, ridicule and attack. Hence, I approached the Chief Justice of the Jammu High Court and requested security."

Thereafter, the judge directed the security wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Police to ensure she remains safe within court premises.

We reached out to Slathia to get his reaction to the accusations made by the Kathua rape victim family’s counsel.

Nobody stopped her (Rajawat) or prevented her from defending the case. I only requested her that since she is practicing here in Jammu and enjoying every facility provided by the Bar Association, she must, therefore, abide by the resolution.
BS Slathia, head of the Jammu High Court Bar Association, to The Quint

Slathia added that the allegation was made to attract the media and publicity, and that that was “unfortunate.”

Both Talib and Rajawat told The Quint that they want the case to be moved out of Jammu and Kashmir for a fair and unbiased hearing.

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