After months of uncertainty in which the entire political and state machinery has been galvanized to ensure that the perpetrators of the horrific rape and murder of two young women in Shopian go scot free, the Central Bureau of Investigation has produced a report that gives a clean chit to the indicted policemen and claims that the two women drowned in a stream. Below we carry a report by the Independent Women’s Initiative for Justice. Do circulate as widely as possible.
Fashion designer Anand Jon has been sentenced by a Los Angeles court to 59 years in prison for violent sexual assault on seven young women, some of them under-age. His defence tried to move for a mistrial on the grounds that one of the jurors had contacted Jon’s sister during the trial, but a new trial was not granted by the judge. The concerned juror delivered a “guilty” verdict along with the other 11 jurors in the case.
A month ago, his sister Sanjana had pleaded with the Indian government to extradite him as he would not get a fair trial in the US, being Indian. She claimed then, and did so again after the verdict on September 1, that Jon is a victim of racist discrimination.
Would Anand Jon have been acquitted of such charges in an Indian court? Almost certainly, yes. In a justice system in which alleged rapists are routinely acquitted for “lack of evidence” and proven rapists given a reduced sentence because of their youth and the promising life ahead of them, Sanjana is right to insist that he be tried in an Indian court. In an Indian court, the testimony of women who had willingly gone to his home on the promise of jobs in the fashion business, and then claimed they were raped, would be dismissed out of hand. Especially if the women are white. Gratuitous references to “western women” and their supposed attitudes to sex, pepper judgements and statements by officials on rape in India.