Meet Deepika Singh Rajawat, The Lawyer Fighting For The Kathua Rape Victim

The outrageous Kathua case, where an eight-year-old girl was raped and murdered in January, has triggered unrest throughout India. But, while the rest of the nation is busy arguing religion, activist-lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat is battling to get the 8-year-old deceased victim justice.

Rajawat (38), is representing the family of the victim in the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, back in January. She first approached the victim’s father in February upon suspecting that the police were not being legitimate with the case. She wanted to help the victim’s kin get the case transferred to the Crime Branch, and also approach the state High Court.

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On Saturday, Rajawat came down to Delhi to personally appear before the Supreme Court, to plead her case and also tell them about the threats she has been receiving. “I don’t know till when 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 that ‘we will not forgive you’. I am going to tell SC tomorrow that I am in danger,” she told reporters in Delhi. She says that she had also received threats from the Jammu Bar Association President BS Salathia, who allegedly told her to not fight the case. Salathia has denied these allegations.

Rajawat, who is the Chairperson of the NGO ‘Voice for Rights’, has been fighting for human rights in Jammu. Speaking to the Mumbai Mirror, she revealed that she had earlier represented a 12-year-old maid, who went missing. However, back then too, she had to take a lot of heat. “I was expelled from the Bar Association’s membership because of a case involving a 12-year-old maid who had gone missing. But now that case has been closed and all evidence destroyed.”

Rajawat is a Kashmiri Pandit, whose family migrated from their ancestral home in Karihama village, North Kashmir and settled in Jammu. In light of the communal divide over the Kathua incident, she argues that it is a human issue and she can fight for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians.

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Rajawat has previously worked with Indira Jaising, who is also pleading the case for the victim’s father in the Supreme Court. The apex court will hear their pleas on Monday.