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Hathras gang rape | Hundreds gather at Jantar Mantar, demand Yogi Adityanath’s resignation

Demonstrators belonging to various organisations join a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on October 2, 2020 against the Hathras gang rape.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Hundreds of citizens, student groups, activists and politicians gathered at Jantar Mantar here on Friday evening demanding justice for the Hathras gang rape and murder case victim. The protesters demanded Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation alleging increased violence against women and atrocities against Dalits in the State.

Besides the incident, protesters said they were also outraged by what happened after it, including the last rites of the victim not having been performed in her family’s presence. They chanted slogans against the U.P. Police for the manner in which they have handled the case.

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Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the accused should be hanged at the earliest. “Whatever has happened is painful. The whole episode — the treatment meted out to the victim, the non-registration of the FIR, her not getting proper treatment — this is all very painful,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

He added that there is an impression that attempts are being made to save the accused. “Allow the family to meet whoever they want, don’t put them under lock and key. There should also be no politics on this incident; whether it happens in U.P, Rajasthan or Delhi, the point is that such incidents should not happen,” he said.

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CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury lashed out at the silence of the BJP’s top brass on the incident. He said: “Silence of Centre, BJP top brass on Hathras incident and U.P. government’s response speaks volumes about the party’s authoritarian face”.

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Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan alleged that what was happening in U.P. was “goonda raj” and said that the police have surrounded Hathras and are not allowing Opposition leaders and media persons to enter so that the voices of the victim’s family are not heard.

Actor Swara Bhasker called for President’s rule in U.P. and hit out at the government and the police for failing to prevent a crime and also not letting her family perform the last rites.

MLA and activist Jignesh Mewani alleged that the U.P. Police was putting pressure on the victim’s family to sign statements to cover up their failures and was therefore not allowing the media and Opposition leaders to enter Hathras.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad speaks as Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar looks on during a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on October 2, 2020 against the Hathras gang rape.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad speaks as Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar looks on during a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on October 2, 2020 against the Hathras gang rape.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Aazad called for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and for the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter. “I will visit Hathras and ensure that the victim gets justice. We will not stop our protest until the U.P. Chief Minister resigns,” Mr. Aazad said.

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Students’ voice

At the protest, there were a large number of students as well.

All India Student Association Secretary (Delhi) Prasenjeet Kumar said U.P. has become a State where rapists and culprits get protection from the government. “In Unnao, Kuldeep Sengar was protected. And once again this is happening. Without 100% conviction rate, rape culture cannot be stopped. The district-level officers must be booked under SC/ST Act immediately,” said Mr. Kumar.

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The protest was supposed to be at India Gate but after the police barricaded the area, the venue was shifted to Jantar Mantar. The entry gates of Janpath, Rajiv Chowk and Patel Chowk metro station were closed to prevent people from gathering at Jantar Mantar after the crowd started growing.

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Following this, later in the evening, the police registered a case against the protesters. “The gathering was in violation of orders issued by NGT, Supreme Court and Delhi Police,” said Delhi Police Spokesperson. The protesters have violated prohibitory orders and other laws regarding COVID-19 and a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Epidemic Act and Disaster Management Act has been registered at Parliament Street police station against them.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:23:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hathras-gang-rape-hundreds-join-protest-at-jantar-mantar/article32753450.ece

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