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The prime minister says ‘save daughters’ but his party works to ‘save rapists’, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, in a scathing attack on the Centre over the murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari in Uttarakhand and the release of convicted rapists of Bilkis Bano.

“The PM says: ‘Beti bachao’. BJP workers say: ‘Rapists bachao’. He is the first Prime Minister of India whose legacy will be just speeches - false and hollow speeches. Their rule is dedicated to criminals. Now, India will not sit silently,” Gandhi tweeted.

Ankita Bhandari, who worked as a receptionist at a resort owned and run by the son of a BJP leader, was found dead by the police days after she went missing. The BJP leader’s son has since been arrested for her murder. In August, the Gujarat government released 11 convicts of the Bilkis Bano rape case, triggering massive backlash and protests.

Echoing the thoughts of Gandhi, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that Day 20 of the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra was dedicated to the “issue of continued



atrocities on girls and young women”.

“Every step taken by the padayatris this evening during Bharat Jodo Yatra was dedicated to the issue of continued atrocities against girls and young women. The latest being the horrific case of Ankita in Uttarakhand. Earlier, there was the travesty of justice in the case of Bilkis Bano,” Ramesh tweeted.

“The murder of a daughter of India by a BJP leader's son is intolerable and unacceptable. We walk in protest at the #BharatJodoYatra and demand in a united voice that #WeWantJusticeForAnkita,” he further wrote.

“We will demand justice for Ankit and Bilkis. Why is the PM silent?” Youth Congress chief BV Srinivas told India Today TV.

The Congress' 3,570 km and 150-day-long foot march started from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and will conclude in Jammu and Kashmir.

The yatra, which entered Kerala on September 10, will go through the state covering 450 km, touching seven districts in 19 days, before entering Karnataka on October 1.
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