Bereaved, they walk for her in silence

 Several student bodies, including those of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University, marched to Jantar Mantar on Saturday, beginning from the Munirka bus stop where the 23-year-old woman boarded the bus on which she was raped.
Over 1,000 protesters took part in the march.

“This is not just about one gruesome rape case. Hundreds of rapes take place in the country, many are not even reported. It is a fight against the patriarchal mindset thriving here and encouraged by many women too,” said a protester.

Protesters also sensitised public about violence against women and loopholes in the laws framed for dealing with crimes against them.

At the Munirka bus stop, a wall was full of pamphlets and posters, expressing solidarity with the victim who died in the wee hours on Saturday at a Singapore hospital.

“We have been marching from JNU till Munirka bus stop for several nights. The idea is to communicate that women should come out in large number during the night. The government is responsible for security,” said Radhika, a language student from JNU.

“The anger of protesters is genuine. But politicians found ways to politicise such a heartbreaking case,” she said.

Many protesters mourned the victim’s death by holding candlelight vigils. Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) held a condolence meet in the campus.

Members from Centre for Struggling Women (CSW), a forum comprising DU students and others, prepared a 71-point charter of demands for women safety.

“Provide safe and adequate public means of transport. In Delhi, there is a shortage of buses. This leads to overcrowding and so women commuters are sexually harassed.

Vehicles plying at night should be properly scanned. Increase ladies’ special buses, including their night services,” said CSW member Maya John.
They also demanded that no autorickshaws or taxis should be allowed to refuse taking passengers.

“Minimum licence fees and other charges should be levied on these modes of transportation to keep the fare low. A majority of autos and taxis are owned by a handful of cartels mafias. Such cartels must be busted. Recognition must be given to auto workers’ own unions,” added John.

Members also said special women protection cells should be formed in railways.
“Movement of groups of drunk men late at night must be monitored. Drunken brawls, hooliganism and rowdyism are a major hazard for women travelling late,” said John.
DH News Service

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