Security has been tightened around the India Gate on Friday evening as protesters demanding justice for the victim of Hathras gang-rape case started gathering at Jantar Mantar. The Aam Aadmi Party changed its protest venue from the India Gate to Jantar Mantar after CrPc Section 144 was imposed, prohibiting any mass gathering at the India Gate area.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja took part in the protest. “The UP government has no right to stay in power. Our demand is that justice should be served,” Yechury said.
There was, however, no change of venue for Bhim Army protest. Instead of gathering at the India gate at 5pm, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad asked his supporters to assemble at Jantar Mantar. “Like a dictator, the police has closed down the entire India Gate, showing dictatorship. But we will not let the demand for justice be weakened. Modi ji will have to answer ,” the Bhim Army chief tweeted.
In a video message posted earlier in the day, Azad said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needed to break his silence over the brutal rape of the woman. “The PM washes the feet of Dalits before elections but remains quiet when a Dalit daughter of Uttar Pradesh is brutally raped. We will organise a protest at India Gate at 5pm today. The PM will have to give us answers,” he said.
The Bhim Army chief had also led a protest at Gate Number 5 of Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday, soon after the victim was declared dead. On Wednesday, Azad was put under house arrest by local police in Saharanpur, where he started a “dharna”.