A large number of people participated in a candlelight march to express solidarity with the family of the 14-year-old girl who was molested by a high profile police officer of Haryana.

Members of social organisations and NGOs, students and citizens of Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh joined the silent protest march, holding banners and candles on the eve of her 16th death anniversary on Monday. The crowd demanded stern judicial action in the case in which the former Haryana Director General of Police, S.P.S. Rathore, was sentenced to only six months in jail.

“If people in high government posts can easily bend the law and use the police to threaten the innocent public, then we should stop calling ourselves a democracy,” said a 17-year-old student of a local college.

Anand Prakash, one of the complainants in the case, said he felt during the long legal battle that only the accused had rights and that the victim had none. “The support that we are receiving now reassures me that there will not be any foul play anymore.”

Mr. Prakash’s family is planning to visit the place where the young victim, a budding tennis player, spent the last days of her life. “Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will go to the house where she committed suicide. There we will light lamps in her memory and pray for her,” Mr. Prakash said.

Online campaign

Mr. Prakash’s daughter Aradhana, the sole eyewitness to the incident, has launched an online signature campaign to garner support for reopening the molestation case.

“We are trying to make sure that the case is reopened and the abetment to suicide charge against Rathore is added. Merely stripping him of medals and honours is not enough. We want to see Rathore behind bars.”