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Candle in every lane to seek justice

Jamshedpur, Dec. 29: As the culprits in the gang rape of the 23-year-old in Delhi faced murder charges after the victim’s death on Saturday, the seething anger of protesters in the capital found an echo in Jamshedpur where a women’s group vowed to light candles until the guilty were served capital punishment.

Over 100 members of Mahila Samanvyaya Samity, an umbrella outfit of 15 women organisations, staged a demonstration in front of the district collectorate and submitted a memorandum, addressed to the President, to East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Himani Pande demanding capital punishment for the accused in the barbaric crime.

“We will not celebrate New Year with our families. All the 900 members of the samity today took a pledge to start lighting candles at lanes and bylanes in their respective colonies in the evenings to mourn the demise and protest government inaction. We will continue lighting candles till capital punishment is given to the accused,” said Purabi Paul, a functionary of the samity.

Besides women, rights activists, educational outfits, traders and student groups also mourned the demise of the trainee paramedic on a day emotion ran high in the steel city.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties member Shanti Ghosh, who protested in front of the district collectorate, also demanded speedy justice in cases of atrocities to women.

“We will be writing to the state chief justice and to the district judge for conducting cases of violence against women in fast track courts. We will go to any extent to pressurise the judiciary in the days to come if our demands are not heeded,” said Bose.

Members of the All India Sikh Students Federation, who also protested and condoled the death of the victim, carried out a mock death sentence for the accused on Kalimati Road in Sakchi.

“Through the protest we want to pass the message that if the government does not award capital punishment to the victims, a day will come when people would be forced to take the law into their own hands and deliver fitting justice to the perpetrators of such acts. The government should feel the pulse of the public, accord speedy trial and give maximum punishment to all the accused in the case,” said Satnam Singh Gambhir, president of the city chapter of the federation.

Students and faculty members of Jamshedpur Women’s College also took out a candlelight march from the institute to mourn the death. Members of JVM, too, lit candles near Sakchi roundabout.

The Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), on the other hand, decided not to celebrate New Year on January 1, 2013.

More than 1,200 members of the Jamshedpur-based SCCI, one of the oldest body of traders in Kolhan, pledged not to deck up their establishments or take part in any New Year parties to condole the death and demand harsh punishment for the accused.

Vice-president of SCCI Suresh Sonthalia told The Telegraph the decision was taken this evening in response to a nationwide call of the Confederation of All India Traders, Delhi.


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