Nearly 200 people held a candle light march outside Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi on Thursday evening demanding justice for the victim of the brutal and heinous gang-rape on Sunday night.
The horrific incident has stuck an emotional chord with citizens, as many came out in protest on their own initiative.
While several members of JNU's students' union were present at the hospital gates, many others, with no affiliation to any union or group, were also present.
Sunita, 19, a second-year student of history at Venkateshwar college in south campus of Delhi University came along with a classmate. She and her friend Nikita Jain decided to have a solidarity corner -- a place to pray for the young victim in the hospital and wish for her speedy recovery.
Their campaign was organised on Facebook. "We connected with people on Facebook and decided that we should be here for her," said Sunita. "We want to pray for her," added Namrata, 26, a law student at Delhi University.
The online group had received around 754 'likes' till Wednesday night and at least a hundred were expected to turn up for the campaign.
Both Sunita and Nikita said they would be using public transport to return home.
"Our parents have now started worrying too much," says Nikita. "My mother keeps calling me to know where I am and if I am safe," she adds.
There are also a few men who have come with them. "My sister, who is in the US, tells me that if she is alone on the road at night, she is easily able to ask a complete stranger to escort her home," says Himanshu, 25, is software professional.
"But here in Delhi no girl can imagine doing something like that," he adds.
Himanshu Sharma, 20, is a resident of Rohini. A placard hanging from his neck demands justice for the victim. Sharma's story is most interesting.
Himanshu lives in Begampur, a village near Rohini, and is currently looking for a job.
Himanshu confesses that he had been an eve teaser until yesterday.
"I was an eve teaser, and I accept it," he says. "Mein aaj yahan apne paap dhone aaya hun," says Himanshu. But he swears that he has never touched a girl. "I have passed comments at girls on the road. I was the leader of my gang," he adds.
But something a few nights ago changed him. "There was no power in our locality and my elder sister had not come home. It was a day after I had heard about this incident. I was so scared for my sister," he says.
"I decided then that I'd never indulge in eve teasing again and I will also not let anyone else do it," he says.
Himanshu seemed earnest and a few in the crowd cheered for him. "That's how things will change," said someone in the crowd.
People in groups of eight to ten moved about holding placards. Many had brought flowers.
Ironically, the protest march remained clustered and broken down into small groups holding protests at multiple locations simultaneously.
While the Students Federation of India [ Images ] wing of JNU marched to the gates of Safdarjung Hospital, the All India Students' Association wing protested at the AIIMS gate. The latter crossed the Safdarjung Hospital gates later in the evening but never joined the other group. There were also reports of the National Students' Union of India wing of the Delhi University and the Aam Admi Party holding protests elsewhere in the city.
Many complained and did not approve of holding protests outside hospitals.
A few strong voices in the crowd said that the protests were being played for the media. A jimmy jib (a device to take camera shots) was also installed at the gates.
"Is this a tamasha," asked an angry aam admi.
The protest is expected to go on till late in the evening.