On Monday, The Shiv Sena shamelessly defended the horrifying Sakinaka rape case, saying that although the brutal rape and murder of a woman has shocked everyone, Mumbai is still the “safest city” in the world for women, and there should be no doubt about it in anyone’s mind.
On Thursday, 9 September a 34-year old woman, was raped and brutally assaulted by a man in a stationary tempo in the Sakinaka area of suburban Mumbai. Unfortunately, on Saturday, the victim succumbed to her injuries and died at the hospital while she was undergoing treatment.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana‘ said that the recent incidents of crime against women in Maharashtra were a “blot” on the state’s culture and the feeling of anger among people was justified.
The Marathi publication said, “The rape and murder of the woman in Sakinaka has shocked one and all. But, Mumbai is the safest city in the world for women and there should be no doubt about it in anyone’s mind.” It said incidents like the rape and murder of a woman in the Sakinaka area were a result of a “horrible pervertedness”, which can be seen in any part of the world. Shiv Sena further went on to defend the barbaric Mumbai incident by comparing it with the Hathras rape case, stating that the accused in the Hathras rape case had the support of the State’s leaders. The editorial in ‘Saamana’ stated, “The Yogi Government said that there was no rape case in Hathras, which proved to be wrong.”
Moreover, gloating over how swiftly the accused was taking into custody, Shiv Sena drew a comparison to the Kathua rape case, claiming that the “workers of a particular political party took to streets to “protect” the accused in the Kathua rape case (of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018), whereas in the Sakinaka incident, police arrested the accused in 10 minutes.”
Additionally, reducing the pain of the victim’s family to mere compensation, Shiv Sena stated that the state government has decided to take care of the education and livelihood of the two daughters of the Sakinaka case. “Isn’t this a sign of being sensitive?” it asked.
The Shiv Sena further shamelessly justifies Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale’s comment that police cannot be present at all the scenes of crime. “Police in all other states and cities will agree with this”, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party stated. Well, Shiv Sena needs to stop validating itself by referring to Police in all other states without prior confirmation.
Displaying the height of insensitivity, Shiv Shena, attempts to defend the incident by saying that the Sakinaka rape victim and the accused were known to each other and added that the woman succumbed to her injuries despite the best efforts of doctors and police.
They further added, “Now, let’s leave the case to the judiciary. The culprit will definitely be hanged to death as no one has come out in support of the accused, unlike the Hathras and Kathua (cases). One has to know what to politicise,” said the Sena, which shares power with the NCP in Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena also made a very bizarre and senseless statement, “shedding tears over the Sakinaka incident showed sensitivity of the mind, but when crocodile tears are shed, it creates fear and the seriousness of an incident is destroyed.” The 45-year-old suspect was arrested within a few hours of the incident, was later charged with murder.
The Shiv Sena should stop playing the blame game and should be held accountable for crimes against women in the state. Vague statements on baseless grounds like terming Mumbai as the “safest city” in the world for women should be avoided at all costs by the Shiv Sena.
After Maharashtra’s disastrous fall from being the safest state for women to being one of the most dangerous, the party should instead be actively working on creating a safe environment for women rather than issuing baseless statements.