HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on October 21, 2020 regarding the threats against Ms. Deepika Rajawat and police inaction over complaints regarding the same. Ms. Rajawat is a lawyer at Jammu and Kashmir High Court, a human rights defender and the chairperson of Voice for Rights, an NGO working for human rights. She is also the victim’s lawyer in the Kathua rape case.
Ms. Rajawat began receiving death threats over the phone after she posted a cartoon on Twitter on October 20, 2020. In response, she appeared live on Facebook saying, “I have not hurt anyone's feelings, nor did I have any such intention or any religious sentiments. It is a matter of posting the cartoon.”
At midnight, a mob of 25-30 men gathered in front of her house and shouted death threats to her. She recognised a local Bajrang Dal member and local journalists among the crowd, and posted an urgent plea for help on Facebook and Twitter tagging the Jammu and Kashmir Police, which said: “Alert. Mob assembled outside my residence and raising slogans against me. Urgent Help. Not feeling safe. They can cause damage to me.” She posted photos and videos of the mob shouting slogans.
Ms. Rajawat then called the Inspector General of Police, Jammu and apprised him of the situation, following which two policemen reached her house and dispersed the mob, but did not help her in any other way. At 3.10 AM on October 21, 2020, there were blasts in front of her house, and a crowd comprising BJP women’s wing members including a former minister shouted slogans threatening to kill her later in the day.