With the chargesheet in the Delhi gang-rape likely to be filed Thursday, protesters at Jantar Mantar here observed a black day, accusing the police of dragging their feet. Braving the chill, many people, most of them college students, started joining others in their vigil at the 18th century observatory that has become the protest site since the horrific December 16 incident.
"The police should speed up investigations," said Puneet Bakshi, one the protesters.
Demanding capital punishment for the rapists, justice for the 23-year-old victim and stricter laws on crime against women, the crowd, though less in number, had high spirits. "Don't go by our numbers but by our strength and determination. We want quick justice in this case and won't stop agitating till the time we get it," said Bakshi, a BPO employee who was part of a group of 10 youngsters.
Rajesh Gangwar and Babu Singh, who have been on a hunger strike for days over the issue, spent another night at Jantar Mantar in biting cold as the city's temperature dipped to 4.4 degree Celsius. Gangwar, from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, is on the 11th day of his fast. Babu Singh, from Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, is on the day sixth of his fast.
Both are demanding immediate death sentences for the six accused in the gang-rape of the physiotherapy student who died in a Singapore hospital December 29. "Our blood pressure was normal last night. Some doctors came from RML (Ram Manohar Lohia) hospital and took our blood samples to check our sugar levels," Gangwar said.
The protest spot continues to be heavily guarded with hundreds of police personnel present in riot gear.