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Jantar Mantar buzzes with activity as protesters gather to seek justice for Hathras gang-rape victim

New Delhi: Jantar Mantar in central Delhi buzzed with activity on Friday as the venue witnessed perhaps its first biggest protest ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with hundreds of protesters gathering there to demand justice for the Hathras gang-rape and murder victim.

Social distancing norms and wearing of masks went for a toss as many of the protesters raised slogans without wearing masks.

A sea of people from different walks of life -- students, activists, citizens and political leaders -- attended the protest which was initially supposed to be held at India Gate but was shifted to Jantar Mantar owing to the prohibitory orders in place around Rajpath area.

"They are silencing the family but they would not be able to silence the people. I am scared due to the COVID-19 pandemic but raising my voice to demand justice for the Hathras victim is more important. That is what forced me to step out at this time," said Neha Dwivedi, one of the protesters.

People also held a candlelight vigil for the Hathras gang-rape victim as slogans demanding the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth and seeking justice for the victim rent the air.

Left leaning student activists carrying 'dhaplis' also raised slogans against the UP government.

The police had said gathering of up to 100 people is permissible at Jantar Mantar and that too with prior permission of the competent authority.

However, the number of protesters were more than 100 at the protest site.

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