Students from across cradles in Ranchi and those from GGPS Engineering College in Bokaro (right) take out rallies on Sunday to express their solidarity with the Delhi gang rape victim. Pictures by Prashant Mitra and Pankaj Singh
If the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi prompted them to observe Black Friday on campus, the shocking assault on a six-year-old in the city spurred students and teachers of Jamshedpur Women’s College to go door-to-door on Sunday to garner support against gender violence.
Some 100 girls and 14 faculty members, led by principal Shukla Mahanty, took to the streets of Bistupur at 11am to protest against the Dhatkidih rape in which the minor victim’s neighbour — a 60-year-old security guard — has been arrested.
The students visited every home on the way, requesting women to join their protest and demand a safer society for girls. “The law of the land has to change. Stricter punishments and their effective implementation are the need of the hour. We went to more than 100 homes today. The best thing is many homemakers supported our cause and took time out to join our march despite their daily chores,” said Nalini Singh, a BEd student.
Placards screaming messages like ‘Humein suraksha chahiye’ and ‘Daro nahin ghar se bahar aao aur iss jurm ka virodh karo’, students and residents marched for over 5km before their campaign drew to an end at 3pm.
“Enough is enough. Somewhere, six men rape a young girl and here, a child is made victim of lust. Eve-teasing too is an everyday affair. We want a civilised society, where there are no atrocities against women,” principal Mahanty said.
The protesters had also planned to visit East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pandey and senior superintendent of police Akhilesh Kumar Jha, but later they decided to express their solidarity with the victim. However, the family had left home.
Police have, meanwhile, stepped up vigil in Mango. “Patrolling has been intensified and we will extend cover to the victim and her family if they return. The accused has been arrested. He was produced in court today and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days,” said A.K. Yadav, office-in-charge of Bistupur police station.
Close on the heels of the Dhatkidih rape, a plumber in Sitaramdera has been accused of trying to rape his tenant’s 11-year-old daughter on Saturday.
Bittu Singh is absconding, but police have registered a case under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC.