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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Crowd thins, but a handful keep the torch burning

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 02, 2013
First Published: 00:10 IST(2/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:14 IST(2/1/2013)

By Tuesday, the crowd at Jantar Mantar had visibly thinned. But paintings and graffiti continued to line the monument in memory of the 23-year-old gangrape victim and in protest of her violent death.

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While some people continued their steadfast protest through candlelight vigils and indefinite hunger strikes, some others paid a token visit to the site.

Protesters present at Jantar Mantar claimed that the constant clampdown had taken its toll. "Over the last few days, there has been a strong clampdown on entering central Delhi. Fewer people have been coming each day. This had happened during Anna Hazare's fast too. People need to understand that protesting isn't a fad. This is a very strong cause," said Mukesh Trivedi, a protester.

Some students groups that were present also said that once colleges reopened, there would be a modest student gathering at the protest venue. "The new session begins on Thursday after which we too can't spare time to participate in the protest. Coming here will mean compromising on our attendance and studies. But it will be sad as the movement is likely to lose steam," said Aditya Mohan, a student of Delhi University. 

However, resolute protesters continued to observe vigil, promising to carry on the stir till action was taken. "We will continue to sit here, pray and light candles for the girl. Such incidents will continue to happen in future and rapists and other sex offenders will go scot-free if we stopped paying attention. Even if just a handful of people persist with the movement, it will have some impact," said Pulkit Anand, who has been protesting since the beginning of the agitation on December 17.

On Wednesday, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will lead a  Mahila Suraksha Samman March from Bal Bhawan to Raj Ghat, organised by the Delhi Mahila Ayog at 11.15am.


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