Delhi Commission for Women alleges coercive action by police

#dailynews60 : The Delhi Commission For Women on Saturday accused the city police of using water cannon and stopping a peaceful candlelight march heading to India Gate from Rajghat by its chief’s supporters to demand death penalty for rapists.

Police, however, claimed they had to use the water cannon after the protesters began throwing torches (mashaal) towards the policemen.

“Police used water canons on protesters who were holding a candle march from Raj Ghat to India Gate. @SwatiJaiHind is protesting for time bound and strict punishment for Rapists,” the DCW posted on its Twitter handle.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal has been on a hunger strike to demand capital punishment for rapists within six months of their conviction.

Maliwal’s supporters took out a candlelight from Rajghat to India Gate but were stopped midway, they said.

The protesters took out the march raising slogan like: ‘We want justice’.

According to police, the protesters threw torches towards the police, which led them to use water canons as a crowd control measure.

The protesters also tried to climb barricades and were stopped by police, theysaid, adding they lit candles on the barricades.

Earlier during the day DCW chief Maliwal demanded that the accused in the Unnao case be hanged within a month.

“I appeal to the UP government and the Centre to fast track this case and ensure that the perpetrators are hanged within a month,” said Maliwal, who begun the indefinite hunger strike on December 3 to press her demand that rapists be hanged within six months of their conviction.

Following the death of the Unnao rape victim, the DCW chief accused the government of being “deaf” and “insensitive” and not hearing the “screams” of rape victims, adding that she was “ashamed” of the country’s government.

The rape victim from Unnao, airlifted to Delhi and admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital here after she was set ablaze allegedly by five persons including two men accused of raping her, died on Friday night.

Maliwal also received support from Nirbhaya’s mother, politicians Sanjay Singh and Sharad Yadav, who visited Samta Sthal, near Rajghat, the venue of her strike to express solidarity.