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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Delhi rape protesters hope for a better, safer year

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 01, 2013
First Published: 00:20 IST(1/1/2013) | Last Updated: 10:48 IST(1/1/2013)

Little Jaya and Khushi kept working on New Year posters with their favourite sketch pens.

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However, the venue was not their comfy Mahavir Enclave home in Dwarka but Jantar Mantar with hundreds of protesters as the backdrop. The six-year-old twins came with their “dadu” and made posters pleading for a better, and more importantly, safer 2013.

Over a few hundred others — some lone, others in groups — had gathered at Jantar Mantar like the twins and their grandfather to extend solidarity with the victim of the December 16 gangrape despite the winter chill, which evidently had failed to dampen their spirit.

“I have been fasting for the past eight days and will do so till justice is meted out to the woman and her family. The laws need to be made more stringent so that no one dares to commit sexual crimes,” Rajesh Gangwar from Bareilly said.

Student protesters beseeched authorities to make arrangements for safer public transport for women. According to them, more often than not, they had to walk lone stretches alone till they found some form of public transport.

“Our classes get over late and sometimes we stay back for research. When we leave, there is no auto-rickshaw in sight. The stretch near Safdarjung doesn't have any Metro connectivity either. It is extremely unsafe. Many times, men have passed lewd comments. There must be some bus or coach reserved for women in such stretches with women bus drivers,” Renuka Bhadana, a student of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College in Safdarjung, said.

Another group of protesters, in a bid to “reclaim Connaught Place”, gathered before Central Park on Monday afternoon and took a resolution to make 2013 a better, violence-free year for women. After a half-hour, however, they marched to Jantar Mantar because of the Section 144 restrictions in place in central Delhi.


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