Candlelight vigil held to demand justice for Unnao rape victim

New Delhi: People from all walks of lives took out a candlelight march from Raj Ghat to India Gate in the national capital on Saturday, demanding justice for the Unnao rape victim, who breathed her last yesterday after she was set ablaze while on her way for a court hearing in the Uttar Pradesh town.

Holding banners, the protestors shouted slogans like — ‘We want justice’ and ‘Say no to rape’ and called for stricter laws against the heinous crime. They also vociferously supported Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal’s call for a hunger strike.

Protestors tried to jump barricades and clashed with police personnel, who fired water cannons on them, during their candlelight vigil.

“There are no strict rules to stop rape incidents. Criminals who rape and molest women are not afraid at all. What Swati Ji said was true. Strict laws are needed then only a fear will be instilled among the criminals. They should be hanged,” Vaishali, one of the protestor, told ANI.

Echoing similar sentiments, another lady named Jyotsna Sharma, said that there is anger among women that nothing is being done to deter the rising rape incidents in the country.

“Women are very scared. There is resentment everywhere but nothing is being done to stop rape incidents. Laws are there but they are not being implemented,” she said.

The candlelight march protest comes after the Unnao rape victim breathed her last at 11:40 pm on Friday at Safdarjung Hospital after battling for life for more than 40 hours.

The 23-year-old was set ablaze in Unnao while on her way to a court hearing on Thursday morning. She was later airlifted to Delhi for treatment at Safdarjung Hospital.

According to the police, five miscreants allegedly threw kerosene on the woman and set her on fire when she was on her way to a local court for the hearing of a rape case she had filed in March.

Reacting to her demise, Maliwal called for rapists to be hanged within a month.

“I appeal to the Uttar Pradesh government and the central government that the rapists, in this case, should be hanged within a month,” Maliwal told ANI earlier today.

The DCW chief is sitting on a hunger strike since Tuesday in protest against rape incidents in the country.