THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Harassed and humiliated no end, Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer-activist who was recently dropped as lawyer by the family of the Kathua gangrape and murder victim, even thought of taking her own life at one point. The Jammu-based lawyer made the confession while speaking at a programme and a subsequent interaction organised by the Kerala Media Academy here.
''I felt like ending my life a few days back. Because the stress was so much. I would request all of you to read between the lines and understand my pain, understand what I'm trying to say,'' Deepika said. The Jammu-based lawyer gained national attention after she took up the case of the eight-year-old victim in February, but after the child's family controversially dropped as her their attorney recently, the scenario changed, she said.
''People started criticising me, trolling me, calling me by different names and making allegations, forgetting the crucial fact that we fought at the crucial stage, we tried to get justice for the child,'' she said. For Deepika, life has been different since Kathua. After the news of the horrendous rape and murder broke, powerful politicians came out in support of the accused. The lawyer fraternity staged protests to stop the filing of a charge sheet in the case. In short, Deepika found herself isolated.
And now that she has been dropped as the family's lawyer, she is now being accused of taking up the case for publicity and money, but she has gone on record saying that the family may have been influenced and misguided into removing her. On the other hand, since the trial has started in Pathankot in Punjab, her role as a private counsel has ended, she pointed out.
For this woman lawyer-activist, battles are nothing new. In 2013, She was expelled from the High Court Bar Association in Jammu after she raised her voice against the death of a 12-year-old girl who, allegedly, was kept as a domestic help by a senior lawyer.
She took up the Kathua case at the cost of her life and at the cost of her profession, she says. ''I stood against my people, my community just to help the family, just to guide them to make sure that the case is properly taken up,'' she said.
Deepika marvels at the distressing fact that people - a TV channel has been consistently attacking her - can level accusations against someone without a shred of evidence. She remembers how, after she took up the case, an officer visited the Jammu University to check whether her law degree was indeed valid!
''You never know what will happen to us if there's someone who actually starts trusting those stories. Then Deepika is gone. I'm dead. My character assassination is done. My future life is damaged. My professional life is damaged. I request all of you to stand against such people,'' she said.
Through all the trouble, her family, especially her six-year-old daughter, has stood behind her like a rock, she said. But the future holds bleak prospects. ''You don't know what'll happen to me tomorrow. Maybe they'll involve me in a false case because they just want to damage me,'' she said.
Deepika adds that nothing would stop her from taking up similar cases. ''No one can stop me but the supernatural power. Ill-motivated people cannot stop Deepika Singh Rajawat. But Deepika alone cannot bring about the change. We all should be there,'' she said.