NEW DELHI/ PUNJAB: The Delhi Commission for Women on Monday issued a notice to Punjab Election Commission for using the photograph of one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape case in a publicity poster.
The posters were part of an election awareness drive in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. They were put up at the office complex of the district administration before the Lok Sabha polls. The goof-up was noticed only a couple of days back by a visitor, who identified the man in the poster as the one who was in images widely circulated in the wake of the horrific rape and murder on the night of December 16, 2012. The notice came in response to a complaint lodged by the victim’s mother with the commission.
In the poster, put up during an event organised on Republic Day, the convict, Mukesh Singh’s picture has been used as a ‘model citizen’ alongside two others. The poster, published in Punjabi, translates to: “Colours of democracy; My vote is my dignity; We know that every vote counts”.
Earlier on Monday, the victim’s mother met DCW chief Swati Maliwal, information her that an image of a poster had gone viral in social media displaying the picture of one of the convicts in the case on the official hoardings of Punjab State Election Commission. She then lodged a formal complaint.
In the notice issued to the Punjab election panel, Maliwal described the matter as one “of great shame” and “an attempt to glorify a rape convict”.
The panel sought “strictest action” in the matter and asked the EC to fix accountability of the officers involved in the goof. “Instead of ensuring that the rape convict is given death penalty as ordered by the Supreme Court, the government agencies are glorifying his act! The convict whose photo has been displayed on advertising boards by the Punjab Election Commission played a major role in the December 2012 gang rape of Nirbhaya,” read a press statement issued by Maliwal.
Punjab Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora said the government would find out who was behind the act, which he termed a case of ‘mistaken identity’. “It could be a case of mistaken identity. We’ll soon find out who were behind it,” he said.