“If you cannot carry out the responsibility you have been entrusted with, you better step down. It applies to everyone, right from junior constabulary to the Home Minister. Yes, we want the Home Minister to resign if he cannot ensure us an environment where children are not raped, where women can step out of their houses whenever they want,” said Tejinder Singh, a protester who had come outside the official residence of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday afternoon.
Expressing similar views, Avinash, another protester at the same venue, presented a contrast between the emphasis given to the safety of VIPs and the common man. “This very spot reflects the state of affairs in the country. To protect one man, you have so many policemen but when it comes to protecting innocent lives and ensuring safety and justice for the common people, they claim they don’t have enough personnel,” he said, pointing to the security arrangements outside Mr. Shinde’s residence.
Many of their fellow protesters, most claiming to be Aam Aadmi Party volunteers, had reached the Union Home Minister’s residence at 2 Krishna Menon Marg from the Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO where they had registered a similar protest.
The cries for better safety of women were complimented by the complaints about the drawbacks in the justice system. Citing the example of the infamous gang-rape incident, another protester, Princey, said the trial in that case was “too slow despite being on in a fast-track court” and no punishment has been given to the accused even after five months.
Protesters outside the Police Headquarters also said that despite the massive outrage that poured on the street after that horrific incident, the administration has not given due prominence to the issue.
Outside the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, where the victim is undergoing treatment, Sunil Arya, a protester, said linking the way women dress to gruesome incidents such as this reflected the regressive mindset of people who try to justify barbaric acts with ill-conceived logic. Another protester standing close to Mr. Arya said that the mindset of the people has to change and ensuring safety for women should begin at the grass root level by taking steps like identifying doctors involved in sex determination tests and female foeticide.