Protesters spilled out on Delhi's streets for the second day, protesting the brutal sexual assault on a five-year-old girl and the police's alleged mishandling of the case.
Some 100 protesters lined up in front of AIIMS. Though the number was lesser than yesterday, most of the protesters came from one group called the 'December 16 Kranti'. This group has been holding protests against sexual abuse at the Jantar Mantar since the incident of rape on December 16, 2012. There were groups of people from the Aam Aadmi Party and Durga Yuva Vahini, a right wing cultural group.
Anti-Delhi Police and anti-government slogans rented the air along with 'hang the rapists' chants. "Bharat sarkar sharam karo, sharam nahi toh doob maro", "desh ki beti ro rahi hai, bharat sarkar so rahi hai", "Neeraj Kumar murdabad"were heard from the chorus at several points of time.
The protesters had been barricaded away from the hospital entrance. Around 40 Delhi Police personnel were seen at the site of the protests.
Humayun Haider, a businessman from Bihar has been sitting on a dharna outside the hospital since yesterday morning. "The chief justice Altamas Kabir had said that he wished that he too could have joined the protests that erupted in the Capital last time. We are still waiting for the judgement in the Delhi gang-rape case. We need speedier justice," said Humayun, who plans to carry on the demonstration till the minor victim is discharged from the hospital.
From Bhiwani, Haryana, Rajindra Singh has stationed himself in front of AIIMS since Saturday. Wearing an Aam Admi Party cap, the follower of Anna Hazare said he is had turned up at the protest as he was overcome by grief after he heard of the attack on the five-year-old.
Protesters admit that the wave of anti-rape protests this time around is seeing less participation from the general public. "There were more people last time. Perhaps people have lost faith. They should come out on to the streets. This is the second revolution. This issue should not be politicised," said Abdul Hadi, a student of AMU and part of the 'December 16 Kranti' campaign.
Vikas Tyagi, also a member of the campaign, drawing comparisons with the December protest said, "The pain is there. People are less. We are doing what we should as responsible citizens. There were a lot of AAP activists here yesterday and some of them were trying to provoke the police. The police were ready with water cannons. But somehow we brought the situation under control. Political parties are more involved this time. "
A key demand of the protestors is death for the rapist. Asked what they thought of anti-rape law recently passed by Parliament, Tyagi said, "I have read through the criminal procedure amendment bill. There is no significant change in the law. Even in gangrape cases, death penalty is awarded only when the girl is murdered or is in a vegetative state. We demand that all rapists should be hanged."
First Published On : Apr 21, 2013 16:07 IST