Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Monday asked the Congress government in Rajasthan to take strict action against culprits involved in the alleged auctioning of girls in Bhilwara district.
Last week, a report by the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar alleged that girls aged between 8 to 18 are auctioned to settle disputes in the state, particularly those involving financial transactions or loans.
“If not, their mothers are raped on the diktat of caste panchayats for the settlement,” the report claimed. “These girls are sent to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Delhi and even foreign countries.”
On Monday, Mayawati said that such reports showed the real face of the Congress, which claims to support women empowerment schemes.
“The auctioning of girls on stamp papers in the panchayats of Rajasthan for loan repayment is a very sad incident which brings shame to society and government system,” the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister wrote on Twitter. “Is this the real and cruel face of the Congress and its state government which boasts of ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon [I am a girl, I can fight]?”
Ahead of Uttar Pradesh elections earlier this year, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had launched a women empowerment campaign named “ladki hoon, ladsakti hoon”. The Congress had also released a separate manifesto for women that guaranteed 40% reservation for them in government jobs if the party was voted to power.
On Monday, Mayawati also asked investigating authorities to take cognisance of the reports on their own. “The Congress government should take strict action against the culprits as well as issue an immediate apology to the women of the state,” she said.
Thehad issued a notice to the Rajasthan government on October 27 after the reports came to light.
In its notice, the National Human Rights Commission directed the chief secretary of the Rajasthan government to submit a detailed report on the matter, along with an action-taken report within four weeks.
“The media reports have documented the ordeal of many victims of such horrendous crimes,” the human rights body said. “The contents of the media report, if true, amount to human rights violations of the victims of the such abominable practice.”