New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday over his silence on violence against women and children, saying it was "unacceptable" and India was waiting for him to speak up.
The Congress chief's comments come a day after he led a midnight march to India Gate to protest the Kathua and Unnao minor rape cases and said it was time for Modi to walk the talk on 'beti bachao' (save the girl child).
Directly addressing the prime minister on Twitter today, Gandhi also asked why accused rapists and murderers were "protected" by the state.
"Mr Prime Minister, your silence is unacceptable.
"1. What do YOU think about the growing violence against women and children?
"2. Why are accused rapists and murderers protected by the state?
"India is waiting," Gandhi tweeted, using the hashtag "SpeakUp".
Earlier in the day, he thanked "thousands of men and women" who stood with him in protesting the rising acts of violence against girls and women and said their battle for justice would not be in vain.
Gandhi was joined last night by his sister Priyanka, her husband Robert Vadra and scores of Congress leaders, party workers and others, some carrying candles and placards against the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir while demanding urgent action against the perpetrators of the two incidents.
In Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic ommunity disappeared near her house on January 10. A week later, her body was found in the same area.
A Special Investigation Team, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.
In Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, a teen alleged that she was raped by ruling BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was detained for questioning early today. She alleged she was raped by the MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017 where she had gone with a relative seeking a job.
After filing of the case, her father was booked by the police under the arms act on April 3 this year and put in jail on April 5.
Frustrated with the alleged inaction and coercion from powerful people, the victim attempted self immolation in front of Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath's residence on April 8. The next day, her father died in jail with post- mortem suggesting serious injuries on his body.