DCW Chief Swati Maliwal’s Hunger Strike Enters Day 7, But Government Pays No Heed
Amidst the outcry over Kathua and Unnao rape cases, the head of Delhi’s Commission for Women (DCW) is staging an indefinite hunger strike to push for stricter laws for rape in India, including the death penalty.
Swati Maliwal, chairwoman of the DCW, has been refusing food since April 13, as protests flared nationwide over the separate alleged rapes of two girls ages 16 and 8.
She said that she will continue her fast till Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to India and holds a discussion with her on her demands, including death penalty for rapists of minor girls.
Maliwal has also written to all MPs requesting them to support and raise the issue before prime minister and Parliament.
She is also demanding setting up of fast track courts to complete trial in such cases within six months and recruitment of 66,000 police personnel in Delhi Police and better forensic labs.
“In this time of crisis, the prime minister has gone out of the country. But this daughter will wait to have the discussion with the prime minister until he returns to country,” Maliwal said.
According to a Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) official, Maliwal, who is only taking water during her fast, has lost four kilograms since Friday.
“Youths from Asmita theatre group and from other organisations observed a day’s fast to express solidarity with Maliwal, while singer and music composer Vishal Dadlani, Raghu Ram of Rodies fame and Bollywood actors Ayub Khan, Swara Bhaskar and Javed Jafri supported her through video messages on social media”, reports PTI.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said that Maliwal is a “ray of hope” for the daughters of the country.
Senior leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party such as Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha, too, shared the stage with Maliwal.
She looks visibly frail after 7 days of hunger strike, however it has failed to evoke any kind of response from the government.