New Delhi: Pain and anger spilled onto Delhi streets for the fifth day in a row over the gang rape of a young paramedical student, with a large number of women activists and students on Friday holding protest outside Rashtrapati Bhavan.
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Large protests were witnessed at Raisina Hills, where Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister's Office and Home Ministry are located, India Gate, Jantar Mantar and near Safdurjung hospital throughout the day demanding speedy and stringent punishment to the rapists.
A group near Safdurjung Hospital blocked traffic in south Delhi, shouted slogans against police and government besides demanding speedy justice for the 23 year old victim.
Emotional and angry protesters, numbering over 500 at Raisina Hills and India Gate, carried placards which read 'My Body, My Right', 'Rape is Ape: Have You Evolved?', 'Dress is not Yes' and 'Rape is Only Crime Where Victim Becomes Accused'.
The protesters who gathered on the Rajpath marched towards India Gate but then later changed course to head towards Rashtrapati Bhavan on Raisina Hills.
Policemen tried to prevent them by making a human chain but the women protest managers broke the cordon and headed towards the high security.
Though security personnel managed to lock the main gate, one of the protesters, identified as Swati, managed to get inside the premises but was later escorted out.
"They say we need permission to enter there. Why do we need permission? When we are attacked and harassed, nobody needs any permission. We are here to raise our voices and for that we need permission," Swati said.
After sometime, the protesters went back to India Gate but later some of them again marched back to Rashtrapati Bhavan. These groups of protesters were detained near Vijay Chowk.
Two days ago in a similar protest, around 200 people had gathered near North Block. They had dispersed only after Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde agreed to meet a delegation of JNUSU students.
At India Gate, the protesters were joined by CPI leaders A B Bardhan and D Raja, who demanded stringent punishment for the culprits.
"This is ugly and heinous...There should be a deterrent punishment. We cannot tolerate this anymore. There should be justice...Government should feel some shame. Some feeling of shame should be there," Bardhan said.
"It is true that the administrative control of Delhi Police is with Union Home Ministry, but Sheila Dikshit could have at least assured the people that she will take up this matter with the Home Ministry rather than blaming it," Raja said.
A section of the protesters, who had come from Delhi College of Arts, expressed their anguish through a small play.
A foreign national from Sweden who also accompanied the protesters to the India Gate said there was need for improvement in the law and order in the city.
"I have been here since last two months and I have experienced it myself. I strongly feel that there is a need for more security for the women here," she said.
At Jantar Mantar, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) staged a protest demanding that a special session of Parliament be convened and pass a law ensuring that a rapist be punished within a month.
They also brought families of rape victims to their protest.
"No rapist should be seen out of jail after one month. Everyone should be punished within a month. Make this law," AAP chief spokesperson Manish Sisodia said addressing the protesters.
At Safdurjung Hospital, students of Gargi Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya and college students also joined the protest and express solidarity towards the victim.
"We want the culprits to be handed over to the public. Public will do the justice. They should be either hanged or should be stoned to death," Esha, a student, said.
"This is not the first rape. For last few years this city has become a city of rapes. Neither the government nor the police did enough to protect the women from these animals. We want justice and security," said Jhanvi, another student.
Around 5-7 physiotherapists of Safdurjung hospital also joined the protests shouting slogans.
"Police are claiming that they have arrested the culprits so they have cracked the case. So what about our safety? This incident has once again proved that Delhi is unsafe for women and the police administration has failed to prevent such activities," said Sonia, a physiotherapist.
Amid slogans of 'A Girl is Not a Private Property of Anyone', students demanded that the rape culprits should face stringent punishment.