Karnataka

An emotional outpouring on Bangalore streets

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Hundreds of parents, students demand justice for victim

Emotions ran high as hundreds of people, including college students and members of several organisations, parents and grandparents took part in a rally on Saturday, demanding justice for the six-year-old who was sexually assaulted in a school in Marathahalli earlier this month.

The nearly six-km walk from the school to the HAL police station, attracted at least 3,000 people, many of who were dressed in black and sporting black bands, and displaying placards. They also staged a two-hour protest at the ground adjacent to the police station. Schoolchildren, too, accompanied the protesters and held placards during the hour-long walk.

When the parents reached the grounds, they raised anti-rape slogans and demanded justice for the victim. The parents, who wanted to put forth their 10-point demand before the Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, were made to wait for almost one and a half hours. The Commissioner, who under pressure reached the protest venue, tried to pacify the crowd. He admitted that it was a heinous crime and said, “Have faith in me… I will go back and take action.”

However, his assurance did not go down well with the crowd. Scores of angry parents tried to put their concerns forward. Protesters also urged politicians not to politicise the issue.

The parents have urged the police to ensure that the evidence is not tampered with. They have also sought speedy trial of the accused in fast-track courts. The 10 demands also include police seeking answers from the management over the punishment meted out to the six-year-old, by keeping her in a dark room where the alleged crime is said to have taken place.

‘Want policy changes’

Anand Prasad, a parent, said, “People have gathered in large numbers as we feel deeply for the cause and want this issue to get the attention it deserves. We also want the incident to trigger policy changes in safety of children in schools.”

Meanwhile, the parents of students in the school in Marathahalli have decided not to send their children to school until the institution addresses their 40-point questions and demands.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:21:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/an-emotional-outpouring-on-bangalore-streets/article6229221.ece

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