Just like at India Gate, protests seeking justice for the 23-year-old gangrape victim turned violent at Jantar Mantar on Sunday. Former Army Chief VK Singh and Baba Ramdev shared a dais and spoke to protesters at the venue.
When the crowd of nearly 500 people tried to join protesters at India Gate, police resorted to a lathicharge to stop them.
In response, Gen (retd)V K Singh said, “I appeal for peace and ask why Section 144 has been implemented. Why stop us from going to India Gate? This is only a silent protest. The police and the government seem to be against the people. Police action should never have happened.”
While Singh left soon after his speech, Baba Ramdev and his supporters remained at Jantar Mantar till 5.30 pm.
In his speech, Ramdev said, “Police are raining blows on innocent protesters and the government calls people like me deshdrohi. We demand fast-track courts. We will not stand and watch while the women of our country are shamed like this.”
Other than representatives of Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth and Bharat Swabhiman Trust, panchayat leaders from various gram sabhas from western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana also made their presence felt.
Sandeep Yadav, a protester from Rohtak, said, “Rape is a heinous crime and we need to increase awareness both here and in our villages. If things like this can happen in Delhi, then they can happen anywhere else in the country.”