The rape of a 14-year-old Manipuri girl in Vasant Vihar on Friday night, coming close on the heels of Nido Taniam’s death, saw enraged members of the Northeast community taking to the streets of Vasant Vihar in protest on Saturday.
Nido Taniam, a 19-year-old student from Arunachal Pradesh, had died last week, hours after being allegedly beaten up by shopkeepers in Southeast Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.
On Saturday, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and members of various Northeast groups gathered outside the Vasant Vihar police station, demanding action against Delhi Police.
The protest, which started around noon with just a handful of JNU students, soon gathered momentum with more people turning up.
The protesters alleged that police had not registered an FIR in the case.
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Sandeep, general Secretary of the JNU Students’ Union, said police had initially refused to file an FIR. “As soon as we learnt about the incident, we reached the police station and demanded that an FIR be registered. We do not want police to dilute the case. Police personnel should be sensitised on how to deal with cases of this nature,” Sandeep said.
Hours into the protest, when students demanded a copy of the FIR be shown to them, an officer took a representative from a Northeast students’ group inside the police station to show him the FIR.
However, that did not satisfy protesters, who started demanding the suspension of policemen.
Barkha Singh, chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, also reached the police station and held a meeting with senior police officers.
She spoke to the protesters and assured that justice would be done in the case. Singh told the protesters that the DCW was closely monitoring the case.
“I went to the hospital and the police station. An FIR has been registered in the case. And though the girl is very traumatised, she is stable. After meeting the girl and her sister, I asked them not to go back to the locality where this has happened. Her parents are in Manipur and the girls are alone here. It’s not safe for them to go back until she gives her statement to the magistrate. What is shocking is that when the girl raised the alarm on being kidnapped, no one came to her rescue,” Singh said.
Later in the evening, protesters took to the roads after police cordoned off the area around the police station.