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Bollywood mourns demise of Delhi gang rape victim, demands justice

Mumbai, Dec. 29 (ANI): Eminent Bollywood and theatre personalities along with thousands of youth staged a candle-light march from Juhu Beach to Kaifi Azmi Park here at around 5.30 p.m. on Saturday to mourn the Delhi gang rape victim’s death.

Besides expressing their solidarity for unfortunate victim, they demanded speedy trial of the case and stringent punishment for the perpetrators of the gruesome crime.

Among the actors, lyricists and singers who took part in the candlelight vigil were Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azami, Om Puri, Jaya Bachchan, Hema Malini, Alka Yagnik, Prasoon Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Kialash Kher, Satish Kaushik and Sonu Nigam. They voiced their ire and anguish against the incident, which led to death of the young 23 year-old paramedical student.

“Safety of women is a prerequisite of a civilised society. We do not want to be defined as goddesses; we want equality, we demand respect. It is time to reflect, to analyse, to do a bit of soul searching as to how each segment in the society has been culpable and led to a mindset that makes man treat woman like property,” said Shabana Azmi.

“We don’t know her (victim) by name or by face, but we know that what has happened with her, that happened with a ‘Hindustani’ girl. That’s why people are coming out everywhere. Every Indian is feeling that something has happened with their own daughter or sisters,” said Javed Akhtar.

While expressing condolences, Jaya Bachchan broke down in tears and said: “I apologise to the victim’s family and all women of this country. Let us promise we will never let this happen again.”

Earlier in the day, Shabana Azmi had tweeted: “Citizens of Mumbai including theatre, film personalities lead silent march at 5.30 pm today from Juhu Beach to Kaifi Azmi Park.”

Amitabh Bachchan has twitted: “‘Amanat’, ‘Damini’ just a name now… her body has passed away, but her soul shall forever stir our hearts.”

“Her greatest betrayal is that we will forget. Political system’s greatest hope is we will forget. Our only redemption is if we do not forget,” said filmmaker Shekhar Kapur.

Mahesh Bhatt, Anurag Kashyap, Anupam Kher, Ajay Devgn, Farhan Akhtar, Boman Irani, Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Bipasha Basu Sonam Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Madhur Bhandarkar, Riteish Deshmukh and Neha Dhupia also shared their grief and condolences for the young girl.

People from all walks of life, a majority of them comprising of youth, boy and girl students, housewives and working women, had gathered in unity across the country to register their silent and dignified protest over the dastardly crime.

In unison, they have been demanding the government to own up and accept ground realities, and introduce stringent laws to deter rapists and allied crimes against women.

The entire nation is mourning over the death of the 23-year-old woman since morning as the sad news came from Singapore.

The girl breathed her last at 2:15 a.m India time at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. She was earlier treated at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. (ANI)