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Bhim Army chief, Kejri join massive protest at Jantar Mantar over Hathras

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
October 02, 2020 22:17 IST
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A massive protest erupted in Delhi on Friday evening as a number of civil society activists, students, women and political leaders gathered at Jantar Mantar against the alleged gangrape and death of a young woman in Hathras district and the Uttar Pradesh government's response to it.

 

IMAGE: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar during a protest against the gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on Friday. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

Wearing masks and raising slogans against the UP administration, they demanded justice for the 19-year-old victim and asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to resign.

The protest was to be held at India Gate initially but had to shifted to Jantar Mantar owing to the prohibitory orders in place in the Rajpath area.

IMAGE: Members of various organisations during a protest at Jantar Mantar. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo

Several political leaders, including from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Left, joined the protest.

Most of them said they were outraged over the way UP police cremated the body of the victim, who died in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four upper caste men.

IMAGE: Several political leaders, including from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Left, joined the protest. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/ PTI Photo

The woman's family alleged the police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.

But local police officers said the cremation was done 'as per the wishes of the family'.

"What is happening in UP is goondaraj," lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan said.

IMAGE: Wearing masks and raising slogans against the UP administration, they demanded justice for the 19-year-old victim and asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to resign. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/ PTI Photo

"The police have surrounded the village, are not allowing opposition leaders and mediapersons to enter it and have taken away the mobile phones of the family members of the victim."

Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar, Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj, Left leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury also attended the protest.

IMAGE: Enhanced security at India Gate ahead of the protest by Bhim Army. Photograph: PTI Photo

Azad demanded that a fast-track court be set up to hear the case daily.

"The culprits should be punished as soon as possible so that others get scared before committing such crimes.

"We will go to Hathras and till the time the matter doesn't come to Delhi, there is no chance of getting justice," he said.

IMAGE: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal during a protest against the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma) (PTI02-10-2020 000285B). Photograph: / Rediff.com

He also said that there is no hope for justice for the 19-year-old woman till Adityanath resigns and the Supreme Court takes cognisance of the issue.

Bhaskar said people from different groups have gathered at Jantar Mantar, which shows how enraged people are.

"It is time we start fighting against the rape epidemic.

"Today, we are standing against it here and we have to win," she added.

IMAGE: Police personnel detain Samajwadi Party activists during a protest against the Hathras incident, in Lucknow, on Friday. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav said the Hathras incident 'brings out the complete breakdown of anything called rule of law'.

"It's not just that a rape happened, or that she was killed which is worse. There is a political patronage right from the beginning... The Uttar Pradesh administration is out there to ensure that this news doesn't come out."

Yadav alleged the family was denied even a decent cremation, which even criminals are entitled to.

Calling what happened a 'shutdown of democracy', he said, "The UP government has no basis to exist anymore".

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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