Congress President Rahul Gandhi led a midnight protest by the party workers at India Gate here against the "slumber" of Narendra Modi government over the rape incidents in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua and Uttar Pradesh's Unnao and to seek justice for the victims.
The candle-light protest on Thursday midnight was called at a short notice and saw people converging at the India Gate in sizeable numbers to express their support.
Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Ashok Gehlot, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Sushmita Dev walked from the party headquarters at 24 Akbar Road to the India Gate along with hundreds of party workers holding candles.
Similar protests had been held at India Gate after the brutal gang-rape of 23-year-old paramedical student Nirbhaya in 2012. Nirbhaya's parents were also present at the mid-night protest on Thursday night.
He said there were repeated incidents of violence, rape and murder of women in the country.
"We want the government to take action. Today, women are feeling insecure to move out of their houses. Somewhere a child, a woman is raped, killed and we want that the government should resolve this. The women of the country should feel safe," he said.
Gandhi said it was a national issue and not a political issue.
"This is an issue concerning women," he said, adding that people from all parties as well as the common man was at the India Gate.
"I only want to say that the atrocities being committed against women, the government should something about it."
He said Modi's slogan of "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" was a correct slogan. "We are saying that Narendra Modi should begin the task of protecting women of the country," he said.
The Congress President had tweeted on late Thursday night about his intention to go on a candle march.
"Like millions of Indians, my heart hurts tonight. India simply cannot continue to treat its women the way it does.
"Join me in a silent, peaceful, candlelight vigil at India Gate at midnight tonight to protest this violence and demand justice," he said.
Surjewala said the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir failed to give justice to the minor girl raped in Kathua and the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh did not arrest a party legislator accused of rape of girl in Unnao.
The protest lasted nearly two hours. With the crowds making a rush towards Congress leaders, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra looked a bit miffed with their behaviour.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)