London protests against Delhi gangrape, demands justice for women
Slogans such as 'we want justice' and 'Halla Bol' could be heard throughout the three-hour-long peaceful demonstration and placards exhorted the Indian government to punish the guilty.
London: Hundreds of protestors raised slogans and waved placards outside the Indian High Commission here, demanding justice for the Delhi gangrape victim.
The demonstration organised by a London-based ethnic minority women's rights organisation Southall Black Sisters, brought together men and women from various backgrounds to protest against the brutal rape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedical student.
"The reason I am here is because I have been shaken to my very core by this crime. India is a brilliant country in many ways, where the ordinary janta can come out in such full force against injustice. But until the government can fulfil their expectations, the battle remains unfinished," said British Asian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, who joined the protest with her writer husband Paul Mayeda Berges.
A handful of police officers were on duty to keep the crowd under check and prevent any traffic hiccups around India House in central London.
Slogans such as "we want justice" and "Halla Bol" could be heard throughout the three-hour-long peaceful demonstration and placards exhorted the Indian government to punish the guilty.
"It is important that we show our solidarity to this cause. Rape is a worldwide problem and this shocking case just highlights the need for some long overdue action," said a 21-year-old student, part of a group from the London School of Economics (LSE) across the road.
The LSE Gender Institute is backing the next major meeting in London on the issue of gender violence, being organised by a series of women's organisations on its campus on 23 January.
"This international attention will dent India's aspirations of superpower status. We want to upturn the notion of shame, a burden that always falls on women. India does have a fairly developed rape law, it is the better implementation of it that is urgently required," said Rahila Gupta of Southall Black Sisters, which was backed by a number of human rights organisations in the UK, including End Violence Against Women National Coalition, Newham Asian Women's Project and South Asia Solidarity – which is also planning a major demonstration here on Republic Day.
Candlelit vigils and mourning meets have been organised here by several South Asian groups since the news of the Indian rape victim's death in a Singapore hospital broke on 29 December.
Five men have now been formally charged with abduction, gangrape and murder at a Delhi court and the next hearing of the case will take place on 10 January.
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