Protesters seek swift punishment for crime against women

As protests continued on Sunday at Jantar Mantar here, seeking justice for the December 16 victim of gang rape, a man was seen advising his women friends against visiting unsafe neighbourhoods. “If you know that any particular place is unsafe, why do you have to go there in the first place? I am speaking for the benefit of people only,” he said, which was met with resistance from his friends.

Resolving to continue the protest Pallavi, a student of Indra Prastha University, who was observing fast said: “We want swift and sure punishment in every crime against women. The government must ensure justice in not only this case of gang rape but over one lakh pending rape cases across the country.”

Demanding a special session of Parliament, she said “those in power must show sincerity and enact robust, democratic and gender sensitive laws on crime against women after consultation with women’s organisations and student groups.”

Some of the protesters demanded immediate relief in terms of legal, medical, financial and psychological assistance and long-term rehabilitation measures to survivors of sexual assault. “We want the government to announce and publicise gender-just protocols for the First Information Reports and the police investigation of crime against women. Police officers who violate the protocols and display gender bias or victim blaming should be punished.”

Meanwhile a group of protesters sat on a one-day hunger strike, while others raised slogans holding placards. Some of them also painted slogans and graphics on sheets of paper spread on the road. The prominent one was by Anand Dev, former Vice-Chairman Lalit Kala Akademi and founder member of Srijan Artist group.

The national capital saw several candle-light vigil, including one by students and residents near the Delhi University.

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