Pune: City-based women’s rights organisation, Stree Mukti Andolan Sampark Samiti, along with more than 30 organisations, organised a protest march seeking death penalty for those accused of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district.
The protesters marched from Good Luck Chowk to Dnyaneshwar Paduka Chowk on Fergusson College Road. At Good Luck Chowk, they were joined by a group of young volunteers, who came together via social media posts urging citizens to gather at the spot for protests.
Reshma Ramchandra, who created a Facebook and Whatsapp group to bring together the volunteers, said, “What is the government doing? If so many people can come on the road and understand the sensitiveness of the issue, then why not the government. Why are there no laws, which are quick and fast towards any such brutal acts?”
She was able to connect with many youngsters and her initiative on social media helped bring together 200 people.
The samiti members were angry that lawmakers do not seem to bring a change in them. Kiran Moghe, an activist of Janvani Mahila Sanghatana, said, “In this Hindu-Muslim fight, why are children dragged into it. The police and lawmakers need to be awakened and they should be made aware of certain issues, which are related to society’s welfare.”
At the starting point of the protest, many commuters and bystanders joined the protest, including some foreign students.
Lindsey Baker, a student of Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics who was passing by and decided to join the protest, said, “I am aware of both the rape cases and that is the reason I and my friend Jacqueline Kromash have joined the protest. We do not understand the language, but we do understand the sensitiveness of this issue and we think that there should not be violence against women.”