FIR registered against protesters; 32 men detained, women allowed to go, say police

Protests erupted across the national capital for the second consecutive day, following the death of the Hathras gangrape victim, with students, women activists and political outfits taking to the streets demanding justice for the 19-year-old woman.

Protests began outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan here, demanding the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the rising atrocities against women and Dalits in the State. They said that the rape of the Hathras victim, a Dalit woman, was not an isolated incident and that under the regime of the BJP government life had turned into a nightmare for women and Dalits. The protesters also lashed out at the U.P. police for cremating the victim’s body despite her family wanting to perform the last rites.

Allege harassment

Members from the AISA, the AIPWA, the Indian Youth Congress, the Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress and other activists had gathered at the venue. Some activists managed to stage a candle light vigil at India Gate later in the evening but were detained later. Members of the AISA and other activists alleged that the Delhi police detained women after 6 p.m. and that they were forcefully removed from the spot and that women protesters were harassed.

“When the protesters reached Uttar Pradesh Bhavan, the police, in their typical manner, started forcefully detaining peaceful protesters. All students and activists were forcefully detained and taken to Mandir Marg police station where the protests continued,” AISA Delhi State secretary Prasenjeet Kumar said.

“We demand the resignation of U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, arrest and punish the CM along with senior UP police and district administrators under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, for the secret midnight cremation of the Dalit rape victim of Hathras,” Mr. Kumar added.

Indian Youth Congress national president Srinivas B.V. said, it was unfortunate that the victim did not get a proper funeral, instead she only got humiliation. “This failure of not being able to give her safety while she was alive and neither a respectful demise shows the religious hypocrisy of the BJP government,” Mr. Srinivas said.

He added that those who want to raise the truth in Uttar Pradesh are being intimidated and killed. “Journalists are being killed because they reveal the truth of this jungle raj. This government is working against every section of our country whether it is youth, farmers, Dalits or women etc. The failure of law and order is a failure of Yogi Adityanath, so he should resign,” Mr. Srinivas said.

“As the protesters have violated orders under Section 144 CrPC in force and other laws regarding COVID-19, 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 Act and Disaster Management Act has been registered against the protesters in both the instances, the police said.

Thirty-two male protesters have been detained for illegal protest near Mansingh Road, the police added.

“A few women protesters who were part of the protesting group were removed from the spot. The protesters belonged to the AISA and the Bhim Army. Legal action under relevant sections of law is being taken,” said Additional DCP (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav. The women protesters were only removed from the spot and not detained, the police said.

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