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Congress, Left and Bhim Army Protest Near UP Bhawan and India Gate Against Gangrape and Murder of Dalit Woman

 Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad along with party workers stage a protest outside Safdarjung Hospital over the death of Hathras gangrape victim, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad along with party workers stage a protest outside Safdarjung Hospital over the death of Hathras gangrape victim, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (PTI Photo/Kamal Singh)

Delhi witnessed protests on Tuesday evening as well when the body of the woman, who died at a hospital here earlier in the day, was taken to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. She was cremated in the dead of the night with family members alleging they were forced by police to hurriedly conduct the last rites, a charge that triggered further outrage.

Congress, Left and Bhim Army activists staged protests near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and India Gate in the national capital on Wednesday, demanding justice for a 19-year-old woman who died a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped in Hathras.

Delhi witnessed protests on Tuesday evening as well when the body of the woman, who died at a hospital here earlier in the day, was taken to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. She was cremated in the dead of the night with family members alleging they were forced by police to hurriedly conduct the last rites, a charge that triggered further outrage.

On Wednesday morning, Congress and Left activists gathered outside the UP Bhawan for protests separately, but were detained by the police. The police have booked the protesters, mostly students and women activists, for assembling in violation of prohibitory orders and COVID-19 guidelines, and detained some of them briefly.

The Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA), which gave the call for a candlelight march at India Gate in the evening, alleged that the police forcibly removed the protesters from the spot and harassed and detained women, a charge denied by the police. Some Bhim Army activists also joined the protest near India Gate. In a call for candlelight vigil at India Gate, protesters demanding justice for the Dalit victim of gang rape in Hathras were brutally assaulted and detained by Delhi Police. The protesters were attacked, women members harassed and taken into custody," the AISA alleged.

The police said women protesters were not detained, but dropped off at their destination. The AISA claimed that women protesters were dropped off on a road near Jawaharlal Nehru University, even though they belonged to different institutions like Jamia Millia Islamia, Ambedkar University and Delhi University.

Thirty-two men have been detained for organizing an unauthorised protest on Man Singh Road near India Gate, police said. "A few female protesters who were part of the protesting group were removed from the spot. The protesters belonged to AISA and Bhim Army. Legal action under relevant sections of law is being taken," said Deepak Yadav, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi).

Earlier in the day, activists of the AISA and Left-affiliated women outfits arrived at the UP Bhawan to demand justice for the woman, but they were detained and taken to Mandir Marg and Connaught Place police stations. The protesters demanded the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and alleged that the state has become unsafe for women.

N Sai Balaji, the national president of the AISA, said, "There is no law and order in UP. People who protest are lathicharged. Under the current UP government, there has been a substantial increase in crimes against women, Dalits and minorities. A group of Congress leaders and workers, including those of the party's youth wing, also staged a protest against the Adityanath government near the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan, demanding justice for the woman. The protesters were stopped by the police who erected a barricade near the UP Bhawan. They were detained and taken to Mandir Marg police station.

Mahila Congress national president Sushmita Dev, Delhi Mahila Congress president Amrita Dhawan, Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar took part in the protest. The Legal and Human Rights department of the Delhi Congress filed a petition before the National Human Rights Commission, seeking justice to the family of the deceased Dalit woman.

The police said an FIR under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and other relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Disaster Management Act has been registered against the protesters as they violated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in force in the area and other restrictions regarding COVID-19. The 19-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on September 14 in a village in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh. She died of her grievous injuries at Safdarjung Hospital here on Tuesday, prompting outrage, protests and calls for justice.

There were protests in neighbouring Ghaziabad as well. Activists of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Akhil Bhartiya Balmiki Samaj staged protests in some areas of Ghaziabad, demanding justice for the Dalit woman.


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