The shutting down of ten Delhi Metro railway stations, the security barricades with grim-looking cops or plain despair and grief kept away from Jantar Mantar many of those who bravely took to the streets last Sunday demanding instant justice for the gang-rape victim who breathed her last in a Singapore hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“I woke up to the news on television and felt this growing sense of despair that refused to go away. I did not feel like taking to the streets, and instead watched the condolence meeting and other silent marches on television,” said Baghya, a visitor to the city.
“I got tear-gassed last Sunday and was hurt. I wanted to be at Jantar Mantar today [Saturday], but the heavy security barricades acted as a deterrent,” said C.A. student Achin Oberoi.
“My friend who has been part of the protest since the beginning and would have been here today [Saturday] could not make it because his close relative is at the hospital,” said Delhi University student Sunny.
“My brother wouldn’t let me come. He was frightened for my safety after last Sunday,” said Preeti, a housewife who was present throughout Sunday’s agitation.
Another silent march south of the city, organised by Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union, also took away numbers from the condolence meeting.
“We had our own condolence meeting that was organised in Munirka, that had a lot of participation from nearby,” said former student Roshan Kishore, who was part of the struggle from the beginning.
However, it was the closing down of the metro stations that kept many people away.
“I have no other means of transport; I really wanted to show my support at Jantar Mantar, but there was no way to go,” said Anupam, another visitor to the city who was at India Gate last Sunday.