People from all walks of life have participated in protests after the December 16 gang rape in the Capital. From Thursday, a fresh face will be spotted raising her voice at Jantar Mantar. Actor and activist Shabana Azmi will join the protesters demanding anti-rape law based on the Justice Verma Committee report.
One of the organisers of Thursday’s protest said Azmi, who is in Delhi for the past few days, has expressed her desire to be part of the anti-rape protests.
“She wanted to hit the streets with us in a bid to show solidarity with the cause. So we asked her to join us for the protest gathering at Jantar Mantar on Thursday,” the organiser said.
According to her, activists like Kavita Krishnan, Vrinda Grover, Madhu Mehra, Nilanjana Roy, Gautam Bhan, Rebecca John, Binalakshmi Nepram, Karuna Nundy, Kamal Chenoy, Maitreyee Pushpa, Anand Pradhan and Bimol Akoijam will be present at Jantar Mantar for the protest, which is being dubbed as People’s Watch Over Parliament. The protest venue is very close to Parliament, where the first day of the budget session begins on Thursday.
Earlier this month, the Union Cabinet had announced an ordinance providing for tough punishment, including death sentence, if a rape victim dies or is left in a vegetative state. It was claimed that an ordinance has been brought in to fast track amendments in laws.
According to women’s activists, however, it has allegedly not taken into consideration the report of the Justice Verma Committee, which was formed in the wake of the December 16 incident, to review existing laws and suggest amendments to effectively deal with cases of sexual violence.
“We demand budgetary allocations for rape crisis centres, safe houses for women, more judges and courts, forensic examination facilities, compensations for survivors of rape and acid attacks,” one of the organisers said.