Protesters stay put overnight

The agitation to demand better laws to protect women from sexual assault continued at Jantar Mantar on Monday. The protesters pledged to remain there the whole night. Despite a significant dip in temperature, some 300 protesters — mostly students and women — reached the venue.

Apart from speedy trial and conviction of all the six accused, they demanded the government to enact strict legislation against rape and other crimes. Two persons are on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar. “I am on hunger strike for the last three days. I will continue my fast until fast track courts come up to hear cases of sexual harassment,” said Babusingh Ram.
Members of the All India Students’ Association also carried out a march at Connaught Place.
They payed homage to the paramedical student who died on Saturday after fighting for her life for 13 days. Prayers were read around a dummy, symbolising the victim’s body, which was wrapped in the tricolour. Candles were also lit while some placed flowers. Numerous placards and posters expressed people’s ire. ‘Rape is not cool’, read a poster, while another read ‘Teach your sons to respect women’. On what kind of change they are expecting, Samay Dubey said, “Firstly, people’s mindset towards women has to change. Even police should be sensitised. Only then will things change.” Dwarka resident Suman Kashyap said, “Police must become efficient in dealing with all kinds of crime, especially against women.”

People sang revolutionary songs criticising politicians and police for administrative lapses. They planned to spend the night at Jantar Mantar on New Year eve to support their cause.
“We will not go home and will remain the whole night here, and keep demanding a safer city from police,” said Rupal Pareikh from Saket.  A large number of police and Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

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