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The death of the 23-year-old gangrape victim early on Saturday morning triggered a spot of politicking between the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP in Delhi. While Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had to beat a hasty retreat from Jantar Mantar where angry protesters booed her away, the BJP appealed to traders and industrialists to shut shop and participate in the last rites of the woman on Sunday.
After expressing her sorrow for the victim and the family on Saturday morning, Dikshit attempted to participate at a mourning at Jantar Mantar where nearly 1,000 people had gathered. Barely 10 metres into the venue, Dikshit was encircled by an angry mob which chanted slogans and booed the CM. After an unsuccessful attempt to reason with the protesters, Dikshit was escorted out of Jantar Mantar, but not before she lit a candle and prayed for the departed soul.
"The passing away of this brave girl comes as a terribly sad news. She fought courageously and in the process shook the nation's conscience. It is a shameful moment for me, not just as the Chief Minister, but also as a citizen," Dikshit said. She added that she only went to Jantar Mantar to express her grief over the victim's death. Pratik, a student protester at the venue, said, "What is the point of coming now? If anything, the CM should have engaged with us last week instead of nearly two weeks after the incident was reported. We want action not symbolic gestures."