Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, the Counsel representing the Kathua rape victim’s family, has been awarded the ‘Woman of the Year’ by the Indian Merchants Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ladies Wing. The ceremony will be held in Mumbai on 11 June.
The Ladies Wing committee members reportedly praised Ms. Rajawat’s incredible achievements saying that she has shown grit, honesty and commitment in handling of the case. They have also acknowledged the fact that she continued her fight despite life threats from rightwing political parties.
Speaking to LiveLaw, Ms. Rajawat said that while she was grateful for the acknowledgment of her work, the real award for her would be when the nation is abuse free. She said, “I’m really grateful to the organizers and to all the people who have supported me so far. Our fight of course would continue for all such children, irrespective of their caste and color. This award is definitely an encouragement and a morale booster, but my real award would be when the country is abuse- free.”
Advocate Rajawat had taken up the case of the eight year old girl belonging to Bakarwal-Gujjar community who was abducted, raped and murdered in Rassana villagein Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district in January this year.
She had however alleged that she was being discouraged by members of the Jammu Bar Association from appearing on behalf of the victim’s family. She had then approached the Chief Justice of the High Court, requesting security. Following her complaint, the Chief Justice had directed the security wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police to ensure that she remains safe in the High Court.
Expressing similar fears, she had told ANI“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.”
The victim’s father had then moved the Supreme Court, apprehending threat to the family, a friend and their lawyer Ms. Rajawat. Allowing his plea, Supreme Court had last month transferred the trial to District and Sessions Court, Pathankot in Punjab, while ordering a day-to-day trial to be held in front of the camera.