The Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust, established by the family of the 2012 Delhi gangrape vicitm, has appealed to political parties to not give tickets for the upcoming Bihar elections to those who have committed crimes against women. In a statement, the Trust said political parties without indulging in vote bank politics should choose candidates with clean backgrounds for the assembly elections due next month in the eastern state.
"We request that no one having a background of committing crime against women must be given a ticket. If political parties keep that in mind and not vote bank politics then not only those candidates with a clean background will reach state assembly but also respect towards women will increase," it said in a statement. The Trust further appealed that all political parties who are reaching out to the family of the the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died after being allegedly gang-raped last month, should deliberate seriously about those with criminal backgrounds becoming MLAs, MPs and ministers in a democracy.
"All political parties are reaching out to the family of the Hathras victim after the tragic incident. This engagement should not be limited to political interactions only. The political parties must also deliberate seriously that MLAs, MPs and ministers with criminal background should not reach the temple of democracy," it said. The Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust was established to assist women who have experienced violence in finding shelter and legal assistance. It was named after the 23-year-old paramedic student who was raped by six people in a moving bus in December 2012 in Delhi. The woman, who died in a Singapore hospital days later, came to be known across the world as Nirbhaya or 'the fearless one'.
A recent analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Bihar Election Watch (BEW) shows that since 2005, out of 10,785 candidates to contest either Lok Sabha or assembly elections in the state, 3,230 (30 per cent) declared criminal cases against themselves while 2,204 (20 per cent) declared serious criminal cases against themselves. It further showed that out of 820 MPs and MLAs in Bihar analysed since 2005, as many as 469 (57 per cent) have declared criminal cases against themselves and 295 (36 per cent) have serious criminal cases. Assembly elections in Bihar are scheduled to be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be announced on November 10.