Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rape rage on Ranchi streets

Rape rage on Ranchi streets

Ranchi, April 27: The state capital today voiced its anger against the brutal rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Doranda by willingly supporting a bandh that left a major portion of the city crippled.

The news that one of the three youths detained yesterday in connection with the heinous crime had been arrested provided little comfort to the protesters, many of whom, mainly women, landed up at Doranda police station, demanding that the accused be handed over to them. Around 70-odd women, armed with swords and sticks, demonstrated in front of the police station under the aegis of Jharkhand Jan Seva Sangharsh Morcha around 1.20pm.

The city, which had had enough, was determined to show that mere assurances and arrests would not do, and concrete action ought to be taken to protect its women.

"If police cannot protect us, we will take care of ourselves. If they cannot punish the culprit, they should hand him over to us. We will teach such a lesson to the rapist that he will not be able to violate any other woman," said Shivani Das, president of the morcha.

Elsewhere, protesters took to the streets since 7am to enforce the shutdown. Roads were deserted and offices were empty as most people stayed indoors. A majority of business establishments and educational institutions remained closed.

The otherwise bustling Albert Ekka Chowk on Main Road and Indira Palace in Hinoo remained eerily quiet after protesters mounted pressure on businessmen to down shutters. The public outrage threatened to spill out of control when tyres were burnt near Doranda College, Hinoo bridge, Kanta Toli and other places.

The bandh forced Union minister Jairam Ramesh to opt for a detour to reach the airport from where he was to fly to Jamtara.

Governor Syed Ahmed announced a compensation of Rs 2.25 lakh for the girl's family.

Police also exercised caution in dealing with the protesters. More than 2,000 police personnel had spread out across the capital but none used force to quell the protest.

SP (city) Manoj Ratan said the bandh remained largely peaceful and no one was arrested for creating law and order problem. "Those trying to resort to hooliganism were pacified on the spot," he said.

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