The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) and its coalition partners held a protest rally Oct. 11, 2020, demanding justice for the 19-yr old Dalit victim of the Sept. 14 gang rape in Uttar Pradesh. The incident has sparked criticism and protests within India and abroad. The survivor of the gang rape died two weeks later from her injuries.
Nine different organizations came together under the banner of IAMC to support the protest and those at the rally came from around the tri-state area to gather at Merrill Park in Iselin, N.J., the organizers said in a press release.
At the rally, Minhaj M Khan, president of the New Jersey chapter of IAMC is quoted in the press release as saying, “The Hindu nationalist government in India protects perpetrators of brutal sexual crime against Dalit women, because it does not treat them as equal citizens.”
Mohammed Jawad, the national general secretary of IAMC, said data from India’s National Crime Records Bureau showed that more than 500 Dalit women were raped in Uttar Pradesh in 2019, and almost 3,000 Dalit women were raped in 2018, of whom 871 were minors. On an average, 8 Dalit women are raped every day in India, Jawad said.
Nilab Nusrat, a representative from Hindus for Human Rights, said “I can’t stay silent when a 19-year-old girl is getting gang-raped and killed and the rapists are not brought to justice because they are members of the upper caste.”
A representative of Dalit Solidarity forum in the USA also spoke.
The other civil society groups who supported the rally are listed in the press release as Hindus for Human Rights, India Civil Watch, Sadhana, Students against Hindutva Ideology, Muslims for Progressive Values, MANAVI, Dalit Solidarity Forum and Global Indian Progressive Alliance among others.