Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal joined demonstrators, on Friday, 2 October, at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, protesting against the gang-rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras village.
"The entire country wants that the culprits should be given stringent punishment. Some people feel that attempts are being made to save them. At this time, the victim's family needs all the possible help. There should be no politics on this issue. Why should such an incident happen in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mumbai or Delhi? No rape incidents should happen in the country," Kejriwal said during the protest.
Many others, including citizens and opposition leaders, came forward to stand against the brutal incident and the subsequent administrative lapses in the case.
Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad who called for the protest, speaking exclusively to The Quint, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Uttar Pradeesh administration for the lapses.
Opposition Leaders, Activists Join Protest
Opposition leaders, including Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat, were seen at the protest, while activists such as Jignesh Mevani and Kanhaiya Kumar were among the demonstrators as well. Actor Swara Bhasker was present there, too.
AAP MLA Atishi Marlena was also seen with CM Arvind Kejriwal.
According to PTI, Azad had said, in a video message, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needed to break his silence over the brutal rape of the woman.
Protest Shifted from India Gate to Jantar Mantar
Meanwhile, Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which prohibits assembly of five or more people at a time, has been imposed at the India Gate, stated Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi. The protest, therefore, planned at India Gate, was moved to Jantar Mantar.
The Hathras Incident
On 14 September, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped, brutalised and then strangulated by four upper-caste men in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras village.
The girl only managed to give her statement to the police days later. She was first admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Aligarh Medical College, before being shifted to a Delhi hospital, where she passed away on 30 September.
The victim's body was then allegedly cremated at the dead of the night in the same village, without so much as her family being allowed to see her body or perform the last rites. No member of her family were allegedly present during the cremation either, which caused mass public outrage.
Over the past couple of days, opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and members of the Trinamool Congress have been stopped from meeting the victim's family at Hathras.
(This is a developing story)