Voices demanding justice for Ruchika fill cyberspace

By Azera Rahman, IANS,

New Delhi: ‘We want justice for Ruchika’ – the unanimous voice of thousands is filling up cyberspace every day.

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‘Justice for Ruchika’ is an online group that has sprung up on the popular social networking website Facebook. With active discussions on ways to maintain pressure so that justice is achieved, this group has over 9,000 members.

Hitesh Kaushal, one of the members of the group, wrote: “If we need to bring justice to Ruchika, then we need to go beyond venting our anger in words and channel it into action. Rathore could not have carried out such a long battle without other people supporting him. We need to find out who these people are and try to convert them against him”.

“We need to consider that this happened almost two decades back and even the youngest police officer who would have been working for Rathore at that time will now be around 45 years old. Chances are that they have their own children now. Chances are that their moral fabric and their positional power has strengthened over the years,” he added.

Budding tennis player Ruchika was molested by former top cop S.P.S. Rathore in Panchkula, Haryana, Aug 12, 1990, when she was just over 15 years old. Three years later, on Dec 28, 1993, she committed suicide by consuming insecticide. Rathore has been accused of implicating her brother Ashu in a false cases because she would not withdraw her complaint and of getting him beaten up in police custody.

After years of struggle and fight for justice, especially by Ruchika’s friend Aradhana, Rathore was convicted by a CBI special court in Chandigarh Dec 21 for molestation and sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000. He was immediately granted bail.

The Panchkula police Tuesday filed a case of abetment to suicide (Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code) against Rathore in the case.

Questioning the system that let such a case of heinous crime drag on for almost two decades, people across all walks of life voiced their support to Ruchika’s family and her friends on the web.

Neela Gonsalves, another member of the Justice for Ruchika group, posted an update Tuesday afternoon asking for suggestions for slogans that can be used in protest marches across the country in support of the demand for justice in the case.

To her post, some of the suggestions that came along were ‘Rathore you don’t deserve any mercy’, ‘Rathore, India’s shame!’ and ‘He is a monster, yet he is free’.

Ragini Sharma, a student, who is also a member of another such group “We want justice for Ruchika”, wrote: “No matter what happens we cannot let this campaign die. We did it for Jessica Lal and we will do it for Ruchika. We will get her justice”.

Sahil Verma, a computer professional, also started an online petition with the same cause.

“To keep the pressure mounting, this online petition on which we aim to get as many signatures as we can will be submitted to the prime minister, the president, UPA (United Progressive Alliance, which rules India) chairperson, the home minister and the law minister,” Verma wrote.

“We will fight for justice for Ruchika until we achieve our aim,” he added.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at [email protected])