Over the past week, two old cases of alleged rape – one in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao and the other in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua – have left Indians aghast and angry.

The Unnao case is the tragedy of a series of miscarriages of justice. The ordeal began in June last year, when a girl, then 17, alleged that MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had raped her when she went to his house looking for work. It took 10 months, an immolation attempt by the survivor and her family and the death of her father in police custody, before an FIR was registered against the politician. Despite this, by Thursday afternoon, he had not yet been arrested.

The Kathua case, meanwhile, has seen lawyers protesting on the streets in an attempt to thwart justice, in a crime that involved a number of policemen. On Monday, a group of Hindu lawyers tried to stop the police from filing a chargesheet giving details of the murder and alleged gang-rape of an eight-year-old girl from Jammu’s nomadic Muslim Bhakarwal community in January. After the chargesheet was filed late in the night, the details that emerged were chilling: the girl was allegedly held hostage in a temple, drugged, raped repeatedly by a group of people and then stranged. The accused, eight in all, include a former revenue department official and some policemen. The crime was committed to dislodge the Bhakarwal community from the area, the chargesheet said.

This wasn’t the first time that those meant to uphold the law had thrown their weight behind the accused men: In February, a Hindutva organisation held a rally to protest the arrest of some of the accused policemen. Among the participants were members of the BJP, including two MLAs and the Congress were present.

As disturbing as events has been the silence or delayed response of political leaders, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Uttar Pradesh’s Adityanath. The contrast between Modi’s silence and his party’s vocal campaign on women’s education, with the slogan Beti Pachao, Beti Padhao – save the girl child, educate the girl child – caught the attention of his political opponents, activists, social media users and cartoonists this past week. This dissonance was a theme of several satirical cartoons.

The BBC offered a spin on the slogan in light of the death of the Unnao rape survivor’s father, after he had allegedly been beaten up by Sengar’s brother and supporters. “Beti bachao; Beti ke papa ko bhi bachao,” the cartoon read – save the girl child, and save her father, too.

Another cartoon shows a group of leaders marching with the slogan “Beti Bachao”, while a family attempts to send their female members indoors, saying “Beti chhupao”, hide the girl child.

The silence of the state leaders, the attempts by the state machinery to protect the accused and the communal taint given to the Kathua case were other themes highlighted by cartoonists.