Thousands of people; including poets, athletes, actors, painters and students; took to Kolkata streets on Friday to protest against rising incidents of crimes against women in West Bengal.
Starting from College Square in the north, the march, which some quarters claimed was the
largest since the new government took over in 2011, ended in downtown Esplanade, a distance of 2.4km, bringing traffic to a halt.
The march, which had no political label, followed Thursday's rally which was attended by celebrated actor-director Aparna Sen and educationist Sunanda Sanyal, among others.
A series of rape and murder incidents rocked the state over the last few days, the last being the gangrape and murder of a college student in Barasat in North 24-Parganas district which resulted in a spontaneous agitation by women of the area.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had to face angry women of the Kamduni village in Barasat, where the incident took place on June 8, when she came calling there in an apparent attempt to blunt the growing agitation.
Noted personalities who took part in Friday's march included economist and former finance minister in the Left Front government Ashok Mitra, poet Sankha Ghosh, athlete Pinki Pramanik, theatre personalities Rudraprasad Sengupta and Suman Mukhopadhayay, painters Wasim Kapoor and Samir Aich and actors Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Biplab Chatterjee.
Naxalite leader Azizul Haque was also present.
Residents of Kamduni village also joined the march. They demanded that the culprits be awarded death sentences.
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