Thousands of agitated people on Saturday took to the streets in parts of Karnataka, particularly Bangalore, giving vent to their anger over the passing away of the 23-year-old gang-raped girl, demanding stringent punishment for perpetrators of the crime.

A candle light protest was held this evening in Freedom Park where anguished people held aloft placards that read “Enough is Enough”, “We demand justice” and “Let her death be not in vain”.

Several organisations, including BJP Women’s Wing and All India Democratic Students’ Organisation, held protests here.

“This is a moment of sadness. We should feel that such an incident (rape) has happened to our own sister, mother. Even if the criminals are punished, this anguish will not go away”, Jnanpith Awardee U R Ananthmurthy, who was part of the protest, said.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said the “brave-heart” girl has shaken the nation’s conscience.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara said he supports legislation which sends rapists to the gallows, while JDS leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy favoured trial in such cases to be similar to the one carried out in some Arab nations.

Reports of protests came in from several places in the state, mainly in district headquarters.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who is touring in Bagalkot districts, expressed grief over the girl’s death and urged the Centre to amend laws to provide for stringent punishment to rapists.

Karnataka Home Minister R Ashoka said the state government was contemplating slapping provisions of the stringent Anti-Goonda act against rapists.

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