New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Amidst the angry, loud demonstrations over the rape of a five-year-old, particularly at Jantar Mantar, in one corner outside the 18th century observatory is a group which Monday completed four months of round-the-clock silent protests, demanding effective steps towards women’s safety.
“16 Dec Kranti” is a group of youngsters, especially students, who are protesting at the site since Dec 22 following the gruesome gang-rape of a young woman in the capital which shook the entire nation.
The group consists of about 50 members who came together following the baton charges and use of water cannons by police Dec 22 to end the raging protests in the capital. It is open to everyone and also has a Facebook page. At any given point of time, at least 15 protestors are present at the site.
The group has erected a small shed in which a frame with ‘Damini’ – a name given by the media to the victim – is written and placed in the centre with ‘Shraddhanjali’ (homage) scribbled in the background on a poster. In front of the frame are candles and incense sticks.
Just next to the shed is a canvas tent where the protestors stay. They call it their “second home”.
“I have been coming here since Dec 22 and today (Monday) we have completed four months of our protests… this place is like a second home for us now,” Abdul Hadi Naik, a social worker and a member of the group, told IANS.
Naik said that he juggles between his social work and protesting at the site because the “flame has to keep burning”.
“We can’t let this issue be forgotten… the flame has to keep burning,” he said.
Naik’s colleague Vikas Tyagi, who works in a multinational company, said that he is at the site for the whole day on weekends and tries to visit at least thrice during the week after office hours.
“We visit the nearby gurudwaras for meals or some of the members get them from home,” said Sandeep Anand, another of the protestors.