New Delhi, October 2
A massive protest against the Hathras gangrape erupted in the Capital on Friday with hundreds of civil society activists, students, women and political leaders gathering at Jantar Mantar. Wearing masks and raising slogans against the UP administration, they demanded justice for the 19-year-old Dalit victim and asked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to resign.
The protest was to be held at India Gate initially but was shifted to Jantar Mantar owing to the prohibitory orders in Rajpath area. The rape victim died in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four upper caste men. The woman’s family alleged the police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night. But local police officers claimed the cremation was done as per the wishes of the family.
“What is happening in UP is goonda raj,” lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan said. “The police have surrounded the village, are not allowing Opposition leaders and mediapersons to enter and have taken away the cellphones of victim’s family members,” he pointed out. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, actor Swara Bhaskar, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj and Left leaders Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury joined the protesters. Swaraj India’s Yogendra Yadav alleged: “There is political patronage… The Uttar Pradesh administration is out there to ensure this news doesn’t come out.” He called it a “shutdown of democracy”. — PTI