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Delhi gang-rape: Protests find echo in the UK

Saturday, 5 January 2013 - 9:17pm IST | Place: London | Agency: PTI
Protests against the rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi continued to find their echo in the UK with a number of organisations planning major demonstrations over the next few weeks.

Protests against the rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi continued to find their echo in the UK with a number of organisations planning major demonstrations over the next few weeks.

Southall Black Sisters, a well-known ethnic minority women's rights organisation based in west London, has planned a protest meet outside the Indian High Commission in London on Monday.

Rahila Gupta, member of the managing committee of Southall Black Sisters, said that the primary motive of the demonstration is to "show solidarity with the progressive sections of Indian women".

"It looks like it is going to be absolutely massive. We have extended the hours till 7 pm after extraordinary demands from working women who wanted to join the protest. We hear there are coach loads arriving from Birmingham and many of our 900 Facebook supporters are also expected," Gupta said.

"Clearly passions are running equally high in this country and we expect protesters from our community and beyond," she added.

The South Asia Solidarity group, a UK-based rights organisation which is supporting Monday's protest, is also organising meetings, discussions and protests alongside other women's rights bodies, including one on Republic Day.

"It is important to realise that protests on this magnitude have never taken place anywhere in the world against rape and sexual violence. It is like a spark," Amrit Wilson, spokesperson of the group, said.

"Women in India have inspired people all over the world, as protests spread to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Women around the world are saying enough," Wilson added.

Candlelit vigils and condolence meets have also been organised here by several South Asian groups since the news of the Delhi rape victim's death in a Singapore hospital broke on December 29.

CAREducation Trust UK and BigHug Foundation, both UK-based charities for under-privileged children, teamed up for the "Save Our Sisters Candlelight Vigil" at the Gandhi statue in London's Tavistock Square today.

"There are already quite a few people here and we are expecting a few hundred more. Our aim is to try and create a voice to show our support for the injustice of women in India," said Nirav Shah of the CAREducation Trust UK from the meet.

Pravasi Bharat, a humanitarian group which organised a candlelit vigil last week, has also submitted a petition for the Indian Prime Minister to the Indian High Commission in London.

"We cannot be silent when we hear of these unfortunate brutal incidents. The pressure from each corner of the world is on now to draw strict law. Hope the Government of India will consider our demand for strict law and fast-track courts to resolve sexual assault cases," Nagendar Chindam, chairman of the group, said.




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