Delhi gangrape: Cameras long gone, a schoolboy, a trader, a mother still hold out
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The other person on hunger strike, Babu Singh, is in his seventh day, and can't speak anymore. Ask him questions, and he writes his reactions down in Hindi. "I come from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh. Incidents like these happen every day there, and the only way to make a change is to raise my voice here. I will continue this anshan for 10 days, but I don't want to die. I will find a way to protest at this site afresh after that. There have to be some people who will take the fight forward," he wrote. Both Bagga and Singh lie under tents. A poster near them reads, "We want justice".
Fewer people at the venue also means more space, something that Prakriti Sharma and her daughters have taken advantage of. In the centre of the cordoned-off road, the family has created a memorial for the victim, with a cloth shaped like a body in the middle of the road and candles all around. "People come every day and lay wreaths around the 'body' and pay their respects. This is my way of praying for the victim's soul. I run a cloth store in Chandni Chowk. We have been here since December 24. I am disappointed that the numbers at Jantar Mantar have gone down so much. But I will stay here even if there is no one else left to take up the fight with me," Sharma said.
Surrounding the white cloth, there are close to 15 charts with messages for the government. Some read, "Hang the rapists" and "Fight for the girl who woke us up". But most of them have only a single line — "We want justice".
Only about 50 personnel from the Rapid Action Force now remain at Jantar Mantar to keep an eye on the crowd. Deepak Mohanty, a protester here, says it was only now that his parents allowed him to come to Jantar Mantar. "When the violence at India Gate broke out, my school was still on. My parents were watching it on TV and they didn't let me come because they were afraid that the situation would erupt again. Now that things are calmer, they let me come. In school, too, we are planning to hold a candlelight march on the first day after classes resume — January 14. I'm glad that the winter has forced the vacation to be extended till January 13. It means I can come here every day till then," says this Class XI student.
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