Plan to hold candlelight vigil at India Gate today
A day after the shocking incident of gang-rape of a 23-year-old in a moving bus came to light, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union took to the streets and protested outside the Vasant Vihar police station here for several hours on Tuesday, leaving only when they were informed that four of the accused had been arrested.
The stretch of road where the incident took place is near the university and many students recalled that they had to use the same route in their daily commute. Nasty incidents when something similar may have happened were related by several students who have been jolted by the incident. “I once boarded a bus on the same route and there were some men there who started passing lewd comments and making obscene gestures, the conductor and driver ignored my protest. I was so scared that I got down when the bus stopped at a traffic signal. I found my way to a police station and reported the incident. However, the policeman there just shrugged and said that since nothing had happened there was nothing to do. Next time, I may not be so lucky,” said a student at the protest.
Expressing the shock, anger, disgust and a keen sense of insecurity that gripped several people in the city after the heinous incident, the students blocked traffic for several hours from the time they began their protest at 11 a.m.
“Despite massive uproar both outside and inside Parliament, the response of the Home Minister and the Delhi Police Commissioner to the brutal gang-rape incident is disappointing and routine. Two of the culprits are yet to be caught while the 23-year-old victim is fighting for her life,” said JNUSU president V. Lenin Kumar, adding that they plan a candlelight vigil at India Gate on Wednesday for which more people were expected. “We have, in coordination with women’s organisations and concerned citizens of Delhi, decided to continue the struggle for a safe Delhi for women. The lack of safety for women in Delhi is based in systemic apathy of the Delhi Police, the Home Ministry and the Chief Minister towards crimes against women. We want the criminal justice system to provide immediate justice in this case, but we also demand general policy level steps to improve the safety situation in Delhi.”