Anti-rape protesters march from Connaught Place to Jantar Mantar on New Year”s eve

Thousands of students, activists and common people from all walks of society took to streets here on Monday with the aim of making public places safer for women.

The march was part of a nationwide protest against the brutal gang rape and torture of a 23-year-old student, which led to her death.

A large number of protesters who had gathered under the banners of the All India Student Association (AISA), the All India Progressive Women Association (AIPWA) and the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), assembled near the Central Park of Connaught Place here and wanted to hold a sit-in protest. But police barred them from entering the park.

“AISA, RYA, AIPWA and several other organisations had decided to assemble at the Central Park on the evening of December 31 for a sit-in protest by citing slogans, poetries and songs in the favour of gender justice and gender equality. But the Delhi Police stopped us saying that such unlawful activities are not allowed in the area, so we decided to march towards the Jantar Mantar,” said Sandeep Singh, the national president of AISA.

“We don”t want any confrontation with police, if the people and youth of this country cannot stage peaceful protests at public places like the India Gate or here, then we will have to think that the nation belongs to whom,” said Sandeep.

“Usually this park becomes a notorious place on such occasions as eve teasers harass women in the name of celebration. We wanted to stop this menace and ensure that women can also participate here without any fear. With the fight and martyrdom of the 23-year-old girl, we pledge today to make a gender just society,” he added.

Holding placards, posters, banners, and shouting slogans for ”women liberation” and ”freedom for women” the protestors marched to the Jantar Mantar, the place witnessing persistent protests, candle light vigils and mourning ceremonies after the horrific incident of December 16.

A group of people are holding hunger strike since last eight days, demanding capital punishment for all the six accused and amendment in laws to ensure swift trial and stringent punishment in regarding such cases.

The 23-year-old girl, who was gang raped and brutally assaulted allegedly by six men in a moving bus in South Delhi on the night of December 16, breathed her last at Singapore” s Mount Elizabeth hospital on Saturday at around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday. (ANI)