The parents of the December 16 gang rape victim hit the streets on Sunday to protest against the release of the convicted youth who walked free on Sunday from a north Delhi correction home.
Disheartened at the convict’s release, the victim’s father Badri Singh questioned the Delhi Commission of Women’s (DCW) timing of filing a special leave petition before the Supreme Court to stall his release.
On Saturday night, the women’s commission had moved the Supreme Court against the release of the juvenile. The case is scheduled to be heard by the apex court on Monday.
“Whatever they wanted to do, they should have done earlier. What is the point of filing a case in the court so late? Now we will have to wait till Monday to see what the court has to say. We have not given up hope and we will intensify our protests,” said Singh, standing in front of India Gate.
Ironically, the parents of the rape victim were earlier restrained from protesting at Jantar Mantar by the police, after which they landed up at India Gate.
The parents, along with some members of the Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust, had gone to Jantar Mantar around 2.30pm where they were stopped by the police and made to turn back, forcing them to make way to the India Gate next to protest.
“Everyone is allowed to raise their voice in our country. But we are being stopped when all we want is justice for my daughter,” said Asha Devi, the gang rape victim’s mother.
The police, however, said they had not stopped anyone from protesting at Jantar Mantar.
At one point during the protests, the victim’s parents announced that they were calling off the agitation and heading back home. Even after that, Delhi Police followed the car in which the girl’s mother was present. The car made almost eight rounds of Connaught Place’s C-hexagon before Asha Devi finally changed her mind, got down from the vehicle and rejoined the protesters as they marched towards Rajpath. The number of protesters by then had swelled in numbers with university students and people from all walks of life joining in.
“Three years we have fought for justice. But now I feel like we have lost everything,” said Asha Devi.
At around 7pm, the police finally moved in and the agitators, including the victim’s parents, were detained and forcibly removed from Rajpath.