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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Thousands march in Delhi University

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 31, 2012
First Published: 01:05 IST(31/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:10 IST(31/12/2012)

More than a thousand Delhi University students, teachers and members of women's organisations took to the streets on Sunday evening to protest the alleged "state's failure" in averting the gangrape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist and rally for women's freedom.

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The almost two-hour protest march called the 'walk for freedom' was led by activist Kavita Krishnan and All India Student's Association (AISA). It began around 5pm from Vishwavidyalaya Metro station and passed through various localities around the university such as Vijay Nagar and Kamala Nagar market.

Participants raised slogans and engaged with women on the route.

"The larger issue here is that of women's freedom; freedom without fear in this patriarchal society. This protest is to assert that freedom," said Krishnan. Emphasising that women's freedom is important for society, AISA state secretary Sunny Kumar said, "This movement is a way to mobilise women to seek empowerment."

The protesters marched around three to four kilometers urging women to reclaim public places and public transport and raise their voice against moral policing. Organisations such as Stree Mukti Sangathan and New Socialist Initiative(NSI) were also part of the march.

"This movement is not just to condemn the state but also to make people realise that rape is a larger, social problem," said Vasundhara Jairath of the National Socialist Initiative.

Besides raising awareness about the need for women empowerment, the protesters also demanded prompt registration of FIRs in cases of violence against women, fast-track trial of rape accused, proper street lighting and an increase in public transport besides calls for the resignation of the home minister.

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