Some political elements hijack peaceful protests

The peaceful protest at India Gate turned unruly on Sunday. Beginning early morning when protesters punctured tyres of two buses after they were detained, the anger did not subside till evening.

Most protesters came with a hope that the government will give a concrete statement about stringent laws and harsher punishment to the culprits.

“I work in a mall at Vasant Kunj. It is difficult to take an off during weekends. But I did because I feel for the cause. We have some people getting violent with police, which will not serve our purpose,” said Shaily Sandhu.

People from all walks of life gathered at India Gate. “I saw on TV that there is a protest going on here, and children were appealing to us to come out, so we came,” said Rakesh Singh, who came with his family to support the cause.

College students occupied a large area. They were motivated to come because of a message circulated on Facebook and via SMSes. “What is the worth of my life if I do not help someone else lead a better one?” said Divansh Katosh, a Delhi University student.

Mehak Taneja, a writer, said she wanted to join the protest on Saturday but could not because of work. “I would rather get hit by a rod than get raped in this city,” she said.

After some protesters got aggressive, those who had come for a peaceful demonstration expressed unhappiness over the violence.
“How will it make sense to hit police with shoes and stones, abuse them and break barricades? This is not going to help us, but will only give police a chance to detain us,” said Ronit Khanna.

Those who gathered there even hurled water bottles at police. “We did not start this violence. We were sitting silently when police started hitting us. The anger is justified,” said a boy while pelting stones at police.

Commuters faced problems in reaching the venue as nearby Metro stations were shut. “I walked all the way from Kasturba Gandhi Marg because this is about our mothers and daughters. It is about every girl in this city, whether she is a resident or not,” said Amit Singh, who came with his cousins.

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