29 December 2013
Anwar’s wife speaks out against media trial, asks why due process wasn’t followed
Dr Meenakshi Sundriyal, wife of the recently deceased activist Khurshid Anwar, broke her silence on the matter today as she questioned the ‘trial by media and social media’ that she claims forced her husband to take the extreme step.
Surrounded by a large crowd of journalists, activists, academicians and concerned citizens at New Delhi’s Press Club of India, Dr Sundriyal, who teaches Spanish at Jawaharlal Nehru University, emphasized that when the laid down process of law isn’t followed, it is the most vulnerable, such as women, who are affected the most.
“I have been an office bearer of the gender sensitization committee in JNU. I can say that when we try to take matters into our own hands and not follow laid down procedures on sensitive matters such as rape, it is usually women who suffer”, she said.
This was in the background of persistent questions being raised by various people about the role of activist Madhu Kishwar in the matter. It may be recalled that Kishwar shot the CD in which the complainant, a young girl from a North Eastern state, raises the allegations of rape against the late Dr Anwar. Kishwar, by her own admission on her website, did not take the complainant to the police nor did she get her subjected to a medical test, in spite of the complainant being allegedly in “great pain”.
“Kishwar is hardly a newbie to such matters. She is well aware of the conventions laid down on dealing with alleged victims of rape. She disregarded all such proprieties and even showed the complainant’s face clearly in the video recorded by her”, said Ali Javed, elder brother of Khurshid Anwar and General Secretary of the Progressive Writers Association
“It is not good enough for Kishwar to now say that she did not distribute the CD. She admits on her website that she gave the CD to an unknown third party. She should thus answer for the circulation of the CD which affected the reputation of both the complainant and the accused”, said Om Thanvi, editor of Jansatta, who was present at the gathering.
“The tale of the distribution of the CD, which in a matter of days, reached places as far as Azamgarh, is one of the most sordid episodes in the matter. We have demanded that the police undertake a thorough investigation of the motives of those distributing a defamatory CD targeting a man against whom no FIR had been filed till then”, said Ritwik Agrawal, spokesperson of the Campaign for Khurshid Anwar.