Delhi, on Saturday, woke up to the news that many had feared since Friday evening — the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, who was recently shifted to Singapore for treatment, had breathed her last around 2.15 a.m. (Singapore time).
The girl, who had been given names such as Nirbhaya and Damini, had died of multiple organ failure. (Delhi gang-rape victim succumbs to injuries; body to be flown back tonight)
Nirbhaya was raped by six men on a private bus, which drove through the streets of Delhi on the night of December 16.
Even as grief sweeps over Delhi, the death of Nirbhaya brought back the seething anger too.
While the Government has turned Central Delhi into a fortress once again, reimposing Section 144, shutting down 10 metro stations and blocking roads leading to India Gate, Delhi is back on the streets for silent protests.
People do not want violence but they want to let the administration know that they are not going to take it lying down anymore.
Aditya, a student from Delhi University, said: "Look at Delhi. Look at India Gate. There is grief all around and the first thing the Government can do is shut down all roads to the martyr's memorial? Grand speeches have been made today. Maybe the politicians across parties can start by ousting all the members who have pending cases of crimes against women."
Aditya and a group of boys had been participating in the protests in the city for the last one week. Neither lathis nor the cold weather has kept them away.
Another protestor, who wished to remain anonymous, also pointed out that rapes have been continuing despite the rage in the Capital.
"The Government keeps behaving like it is only about this one rape. Nirbhaya has done the impossible, she has given us courage to speak up. But it is not about this one case, Mr Prime Minister. This case must be expedited, there are no ifs and buts. This is about all the cases of sexual violence, it is about our daily molestation, it is about our daily humiliation and the fear we have to live in."
The common refrain is "Does this Government have no shame?"
"The who’s who have spoken today, safely ensconced in their bungalows and offices from where everyone has been barred. Yet, the Government has clamped down on people grieving for the girl. Not just that, they are not even able to listen to people, hear their concerns. Is this democracy?" asked Pratibha, a student from JNU.
Meanwhile, on twitter, many people expressed their anguish. One person wrote, "On January 26, let's salute Damini, not a bunch of politicians. Let the marchpast be for her. Why have an army if your women aren't safe?"
"It would be nice if the Government's response to a nation's grieving didn't reek so obviously of fear," another tweet read.
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