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Hyderabad rape-murder: Students take out rallies in protest

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Students of two top West Bengal universities held separate protests in the city on Monday, demanding prompt conviction and action in rape cases.

The agitators, many of them affiliated to students' unions, sought heightened security for women across India.

Hundreds of Presidency University students, along with those from other institutes, took out a rally from the varsity campus to Esplanade, with placards highlighting the lack of safety measures for women at public places.

The gang rape of a veterinary doctor whose body was set on fire and dumped under a bridge on the outskirts of Hyderabad has sent shockwaves across the country.

In Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped and set ablaze by her neighbour. She succumbed to her injuries on Saturday.

Two minor girls were allegedly gang-raped by teenage boys in the city last week.

Ujan, a member of Independent Consolidation -- one of the students' unions in Presidency -- said he along with other protesters formed a human chain at Esplanade area, which was also joined by bystanders.

In a similar demonstration, students of Jadavpur University had also formed a human chain outside its premises.

The rally, organised by Arts Faculty Students Union of JU, called on people to "raise voice against incidents of rape and sexual assault".

"We shudder to think what happened to the female veterinary doctor in Hyderabad. Many of us have to deal with stalking and indecent behaviour on road every day. Why can't women move freely after dusk? Why should they be scared of being molested, raped and even murdered?" Madhurima Dutta, one of the protesters outside JU, said.

Meanwhile, several Durga Puja committees in the city have launched helpline numbers for distressed women.

A puja committee in Kalighat area has posted six mobile numbers on its Facebook page, promising to come to aid of women in its vicinity.

Similarly initiatives have also been taken by puja committees in Tollygunge and Behala area of the city.

Arpana Banik, a young professional, however, said, she was apprehensive about calling up helpline numbers.

"It is heartening that our brothers have pledged to be on our side during emergencies. However, given the present situation, one can never be sure about anything. I am apprehensive that calling up such numbers may land me in further trouble," she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 02 2019. 18:55 IST