Hathras gang-rape protest: We have to battle towards the ‘rape epidemic’, says Swara Bhaskar

New Delhi, October 2  

It is time the country starts fighting the “rape epidemic”, Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar said on Friday as she joined a protest here at Jantar Mantar to demand justice for the Hathras gang-rape and murder victim.

“People from different groups are here, this shows how enraged people are against what happened in Hathras, Balrampur, Azamgargh…there is a rape epidemic which has spread in the country, especially the kind of news we are getting from Uttar Pradesh,” Bhaskar said while addressing the protesters.

“It is time we start fighting against the rape epidemic…and today we are standing against it here and we have to win,” she added.

Bhaskar had joined the civil society activists, students, women and members of various political outfits who had gathered at the Jantar Mantar here on Friday to demand justice for the victim.

The protest was initially supposed to be held at the India Gate but was later shifted to the Jantar Mantar owing to the prohibitory orders in place in the Rajpath area. The security was beefed up in the area. Besides ground force, senior police officers and paramilitary personnel were deployed to manage the crowd.

The body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital, a fortnight after she was gang-raped, was cremated in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging that the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.

Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out “as per the wishes of the family”. PTI

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