Month after gangrape: Spotlight on FIR delay, abuse at workplace

Taking forward their campaign against sexual violence and gender discrimination, students, teachers and women organisations staged protests and candlelight vigils at several places in Delhi on Wednesday to mark one month of the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman who later died in a Singapore hospital.

Among the protesters were nurses and students of Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, associated with Safdarjung hospital where the woman was treated before being flown to Singapore.

On the premises of Arts Faculty in Delhi University, students and teachers raised slogans, sang and read poems to make their point. The gathering included several who said they had taken part in the protests at India Gate last month.

They discussed issues ranging from the way women are portrayed in films to curfew timings in hostels, statements made by politicians to the government response to the protests.

Condemning remarks of political leaders who called for "drawing a Lakshman rekha" and referred to the rape victim as a "zinda laash", Kavita Krishnan of All India Progressive Women's Association urged people to take part in a "freedom march" on January 26. "Why does one talk of Indian tradition when one talks about freedom and equality for women? Politicians were making statement after statement. No one spoke of rape as a problem of masculinity," she said.

Students also assembled at Mall Road around 5 pm and marched to Mukherjee Nagar and Outram Lines. A public meeting was held at the Dhaka Complex which houses five girls' hostels.

"The rules that are applied at various hostels and paying guest accommodation are based on the whims and fancies of the warden or the owner. After the incident, there has been an increase in control and surveillance at these places. A difference in curfew timings exist for boys and girls," said a PhD student.

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