Protests have erupted in Barmer, the hometown of the 17-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered by the Physical Trainer and Instructor (PTI) at her institute, in Bikaner, where she was a student at a Jain Adarsh Teacher Training Institute. Protests have also been organised in various other districts of the state and in other parts of the country. Here are updates from some of those protests.
Barmer: Protests by around 200 people including community members as wells as members of Rajasthan Meghwal Parishad and Bhartiya Vidyarthi Morcha, the student wing of BAMCEF (All India Backward (S.C., ST., O.B.C.) and Minority Communities Employees Federation), was organised on the April 1st at Chohtan in Barmer district, Kumar Sudhindra, one of the organisers of the protest told YKA over phone. Around 400 people gathered for protests on April 4th and a memorandum was given to the SDM, Sudhindra told YKA.
According to Motiram Mensa, Rajasthan State President of the Bahujan Mukti Party (the political wing of BAMCEF), one of the largest protests took place on April 2nd in Gadra Road, the village to which the victim belonged. About 5000 people shut down Gadra Road for a day, he told YKA. On the 5th April, there was a rally of around 2000 people was organised in Barmer, which ended at the DM’s office, where a memorandum was handed to the DM by members of various community organisations, Mensa told YKA.
Bikaner: On 2nd April a protest and candle march was organised by students’ organisations and anti-caste organisations, respectively, at the DM’s office, Bajrang Ji Chhipa, a lawyer and resident of Bikaner present at the protests told YKA. An effigy of the Chief Minister was burnt and a memorandum given to the DM.
Protests were also organised by women’s organisations on the April 3rd at Nokha Road in Gangasahar, a suburb near the city.
Jodhpur: Protests were organised in the city on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of April at the DM’s office, Kishan Khuriwal, State Vice President of SFI who is organising protests on the behalf of the student organisation, told YKA over phone. A memorandum addressed to the Governor of Rajasthan was given to the SDM in various parts of the districts on the 5th.
Pali: Protests in Pali, where houses of people from Meghwal community were attacked on March 24 according to reports, were also organised for Delta Meghwal and saw the participation of a huge number of protesters, Khuriwal told YKA. “There is a lot of discrimination there to this day. A groom cannot ride a horse,” Khuriwal said, explaining the reason for the huge turnout.
Bangalore: In Bangalore, a protest was organised on the 2nd April by a coalition formed to protest against the alleged rape and murder of the student. The protest was attended by around 100 people. The Bangalore coalition for Justice for Delta Meghwal has demanded action against the Principal Ishwar Chand Baid, warden Priya Shukla, and the PT instructor Vijendra Singh.
New Delhi: On April 4, a protest meeting was organised in New Delhi by the JNU Students’ Union outside Bikaner House. A representation was made by the Union to the Resident Commissioner, where a demand for action against the accused was made.
Meanwhile, the warden of the hostel, on whose instruction the student is allegedly said to have visited the PT instructor’s room, was also arrested on April 4 according to reports. The PT instructor had been arrested earlier.