Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday described the passing away of the gang-rape victim as a “shameful” moment for her, both as the Chief Minister and as a citizen.
Terming the death of the girl “terribly sad news,” Ms. Dikshit in her condolence message said the victim fought courageously and in the process shook the conscience of the nation.
“Our hearts are burdened with grief and shame. Not the moment for words or speeches but for deep reflection. May her soul rest in peace and God give the family and all of us the strength to bear this terrible loss. I hope all of us learn the right lessons and ensure that such ghastly incidents do not recur ever again,” read the message with an appeal to all to “maintain peace” and “pray for her soul.”
Mob behaviour to the fore again
Rogue elements crept into the condolence meeting held for the gang rape victim at Jantar Mantar here on Saturday. Women were groped and pushed around the time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit made her entry.
Ms. Dikshit was forced to beat a hasty retreat by the angry crowd.
“There was a sudden surge in the crowd when the Chief Minister made her entry. I saw a woman pushed around inappropriately,” a person at the gathering said.
“So a guy grabbed my a** while I was taking photos of Sheila Dikshit being heckled. I hit him and shouted and now he’s disappeared,” tweeted Rukmini Shrinivasan.
Decency won at the end, with many expressing their disgust at the vulgar responses. “Why am I not amazed? The responses you just retweeted explain everything. Sickening. Hit him again if you see him again,” tweeted Kim Arora.
Another eyewitness said there was talk about the way some women were jeered at in an inappropriate manner at the time of the Chief Minister’s exit because of their posters publicising the newly launched helpline number by the Delhi government.
Later on, these posters were burnt by a group of men, who validated their act by claiming that the women distributing the pamphlets were acting like “government stooges.” Some policemen intervened to prevent things from getting out of hand.
Apart from the time of the Chief Minister’s entry and exit, there were no other reports of women being molested as most of those at the meeting were genuinely there to mourn the victim. “I personally did not see any conscious attempts at harassing women during the entire day. At the time of the Chief Minister’s entry, there was a spontaneous reaction from the crowd when everyone kept moving in one direction, which I was not a part of,” said Sunny, a Delhi University student who has participated in the struggle since the beginning