Chennai protests, demands safer streets for women

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Chennai, Dec 23: Nearly 800 people assembled near Gandhi statue on Marina beach on Saturday midnight demanding safer streets for women at any time of the day. The protesters, including some actors, took to the streets in the wake of the brutal gangrape of a young paramedical student in New Delhi a week ago. The protest continued on Sunday as well.

Most participants heard about the protests from friends, acquaintances and through social networking sites. Protest has spread across the nation following the horrendous assault on the young woman, who is battling between life and death in a Delhi hospital.

One of the volunteers present in the protest said the protest took shape on Facebook two days ago after some women created a page to gather support. "We got a lot of support for our page 'Walk anywhere without getting raped'," she said.

The actual plan was to march from Sathyam Cinemas to Gandhi statue at Marina but after the police refused permission, the protesters walked along the Marina's service lane. They were carrying banners and shouting slogans against sexual crime against women.

The protesters said they wanted the Parliament to change laws on rape and sexual harassment in a special session. They said the corporate sector should have strict rules to stop harassment of women at work places and the police should be more sensitised on the issue.

On Sunday morning, actor Abbas led the demonstration while Suhasini Mani Ratnam took over in the evening. The latter said besides exposing the flaws in the system that allows an accused to get away, it was also needed that men who disrespect women through their behaviour should also be dealt with sternly.

The Aam Aadmi Party led a group of demonstrators at Eliot's Beach. A national executive member of the party said it did not have any personal agenda and just wanted safe living conditions.

OneIndia News

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