Students, women protest over rape of 5-year-old
Demanding removal of the Delhi police chief, outraged students and women protesting the rape of a 5-year-old girl today staged demonstrations at India Gate, Police Headquarters and near the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Placard-wielding protesters also gathered at AIIMS, where the girl is undergoing treatment, and burnt the effigy of police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar demanding his sacking.
Traffic was affected at ITO and India Gate in the evening as the number of protesters swelled.
More than 100 people, who staged protest at PHQ and near the residences of Singh and Gandhi, were detained and later released. Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed near the residence of the Prime Minister and PHQ.
The protesters were in small groups unlike the thousands who had swamped India Gate and Rajpath last December following the rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus, but their anger was palpable.
Delhi has recorded 393 rapes in the first three months of the year compared to 152 during the same period last year.
Around 15-20 members of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried to stage a protest in the evening near the Prime Minister’s residence but were detained by the police.
Over 100 AAP supporters had earlier protested at PHQ. Police deployed water canons at PHQ.
Later, a group around 100 JNU students under the leadership of JNUSU President Lenin marched towards PHQ but were stopped near ITO. “The Commissioner has no moral right to continue. He should quit,” Lenin said.
Women and student activists staged demonstrations near India Gate in the evening hours.
Students from JNU tried to march towards India Gate but were prevented from moving closer to the war memorial. They staged protest near Patiala House court complex.
Some students who were also marching towards India Gate were stopped near Taj Mansingh hotel by the police.
Women activists also reached near India Gate in a march from Central Secretariat breaking barricades erected on the way. However, they were prevented from moving near India Gate.
The protesters shouted slogans against Delhi Police and government and demanded stringent punishment for the culprit and policemen who refused to help the victim and her family when they approached police.
Yesterday, there were protests at PHQ, AIIMS, Gandhinagar Police station and also at residences of the Congress chief and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
The five-year-old girl was brutally raped and assaulted allegedly by her neighbour. She was held captive and starved for two days in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar. The girl also contracted infection from foreign objects inserted in her body.