Thousands continue to protest at Jantar Mantar

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New Delhi, Dec 30: The ongoing protest against the gruesome rape and death of a 23-year-old woman refused to die down as thousands of protestors thronged Jantar Mantar in central Delhi again Sunday. Four students who tried to break a barricade were detained but later let off.

The protestors lit candles in the evening, demanding speedy justice for the rape victim who was cremated in the capital Sunday morning after her body was flown in from Singapore.

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“We don’t want any New Year’s celebration this time as we are determined to protest till the end,” Chesta, 22, a student, told IANS.

Prohibitory orders, restricting gathering of four or more people at a time, were imposed in central Delhi and roads leading to India Gate and Raisina Hill, the centre of power, were barricaded.

Ten Metro stations were shut in the morning for fear of mob violence, but five were reopened in the afternoon.

The protest also witnessed a minor clash in the afternoon between police and some students who broke barricades in an attempt to march towards India Gate. Four people were detained and later let off.

According to some peaceful protestors, those who turned violent were students representing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s students wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

“We want to carry out a peaceful protest. We want to carry forward the movement. But why do police restrain us from protesting at India Gate?” asked a protestor.

Praveen Pandey, a law student from the Jamia Millia Islamia, told IANS: “We will continue to protest even if they barricade major stretches of roads and shut all Metro stations…The police can’t stop us from raising our voices.”

Deepali Sharma, a student of Amity University, who came to the protest along with friends, told IANS: “We want speedy justice in the gang-rape case. We want strict laws. Till then, we will continue our protest.”

The protestors, including some elderly people, mourned in silence the death of the young woman.

Rohit Chahal, state secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, said: “We will be protesting silently, but if the police become violent, we will also have no other option but to retaliate. We demand a special session of parliament to discuss the issue of rising incidence of rapes in India.”

The 23-year-old victim, who was gang-raped Dec 16 in a moving bus, was quitely cremated Sunday morning after her body was flown in from Singapore, officials said.

—IANS

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