Women protest exploitation as Delhi remembers Dec 16 victim

New Delhi, Dec 16: Women activists and members of women’s organisations protested against the exploitation of women Monday, which marked one year since the brutal gang rape of a physiotherapy student in the national capital.

The protestors demanded immediate justice for the family of the rape victim and also lit candles on the roads in memory of the 23-year-old woman at various places in Delhi. The young woman died Dec 29 last year of wounds sustained during the brutal attack in a moving bus by six people, one of them a juvenile.

“We came here to protect our rights. A lot of changes have happened in the past one year but more needs to be done for the safety of women and their security,” Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), said at Jantar Mantar.

“The important change since last year is that crime against women is being taken up seriously. Men are coming out in support of women’s rights,” Krishnan said.

“The uprising after Dec 16 last year has inspired women to come forward. However, the picture is still not very rosy. There is more to be done to effect real change,” Julie Thekkudan, an activist in her late 30s, said.

The protestors carried banners and raised slogans on women’s security. Several theatre artistes performed at Jantar Mantar and remembered the victim by observing a two-minute silence.

In the evening, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, along with members of non-government organisations, held a candle march at Munirka Bus Stand in south Delhi, the place from where the girl took the bus that ill-fated day.

She was raped by six people present in the bus at the time she boarded it. She was accompanied by a male friend; the two were returning after watching a movie.

Meanwhile, neighbours of the men convicted in the case held prayers for peace at South Delhi’s Ravi Dass Camp.

Of the six accused in the case, four were residents of Ravi Dass Camp.