Delhi gangrape: India welcomes New Year with candlelight vigils
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A muted New Year celebration was witnessed throughout the country as thousands of people across India took out silent candle light vigils with a clear message that the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim will not go in vain and the concerned authorities should come up with stringent laws to ensure that women are able to move around freely.
Protesters gathered at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding that those accused of the heinous crime must be given the harshest punishment. They also asked the Manmohan Singh-led UPA II Government to get tougher on crime against women.
Many of the participants also endorsed their views in a signature campaign on a petition to demand capital punishment for the rapists.
"In this petition, we have demands addressed to the government and the Chairperson of National Women''s Commission that the penalty for rape should only be death sentence and nothing else. This is our campaign," said Bhavik Aggarwal, convenor of Indraprastha Sanjivini Trust.
"And we have gathered 1,00,000 signatures and we shall present this petition on behalf of our Indraprastha Sanjivini Trust to the Chairperson of Women''s Commission Mamta Sharma and state that about 1,00,000 people have demanded death sentence for rape," added Aggarwal.
The flames of public ire and sympathy for the Delhi gang rape victim were also witnessed at Bangalore where people from all walks of life and of all age groups gathered for a candle light vigil.
They viewed their efforts as one of the means to eradicate the prevailing social evils.
"Being a woman, I feel it is not just about these six people who have been arrested (for the gang rape crime in New Delhi). It is about everything that goes wrong against women. It is about child abuse, it is about domestic violence, it is about rape, it is about molestation, eve teasing. And a very simple thing that we can do, both men and women, is that we need to raise our voices," said Anjali, a participant in candle light vigil in Bangalore.
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