New Delhi: Students and women on Monday continued their protests in the Indian capital against violence on women, a day after the city's gang rape victim was cremated under heavy security.
A large number of people, but mainly the young, gathered near the Jantar Mantar observatory in the heart of Delhi, pressing the government to enact strict legislation against rape and other crimes.
At least two people are on hunger strike at the spot."I'm on hunger strike for the past three days. I will continue my fast until fast-track courts come up to hear cases of sexual harassment," said Babusingh Ram, one of them.
The All India Students Association (AISA), affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist, said at least 1,000 members will stage a demonstration in Connaught Place on Monday. Delhi Police have announced a ban on motor traffic in and around Connaught Place from 7 pm on Monday on the occasion of New Year's Eve.
Three Delhi Metro Stations - Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road and Patel Chowk - will close at 7.30 pm on Monday. Commuters would not be allowed to enter or leave the three stations from that time due to security restrictions related to New Year celebrations, a metro official said.
The 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped on December 16 in a moving bus in Delhi was cremated on Sunday morning after her body was flown in from Singapore.
On Sunday, Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar, who has come under wide criticism both for the gang rape and the later police crackdown on street protests, called on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. He was accompanied by Satyendra Garg, who heads the Delhi Traffic Police. Neeraj Kumar later met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
The meeting followed Dikshit's rare public criticism of the police action against the gang-rape protesters. Delhi Police reports to the central home ministry. Its chief normally doesn't call on the Delhi Chief Minister.