Crime Against Women

Chandigarh: Women hold Bekhauf Azaadi March to assert their right to access public spaces

The rally began at 11 pm from Rose Garden and passed through the geri route, which is considered unsafe for women.

Hundreds of women took out a protest march in Chandigarh late on Friday night to assert their right to access public spaces, IANS reported. This comes in the backdrop of the recent stalking case when woman was followed by two men in a car – one of who was Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party chief Subhash Barala’s son.

The march began at 11 pm from Chandigarh Rose Garden, and ended at Leisure Valley in Sector 10, passing through the geri route, which is considered unsafe for women. “We decided to start from here at 10 pm – a time when girls are not supposed to go out,” one of the organisers of the protest, Amarjot, told DNA.

Organisers of the Bekhauf Azaadi March/Reclaiming the Streets movement had mobilised participants through a Facebook post over the last week. “The march is just the beginning,” former councillor Pallav Mukherjee told Hindustan Times. “A nation that can’t protect its women, cannot protect itself.”

Several men were also seen participating in the march that aimed to “reclaim the streets from stalkers and elitist goons”, IANS reported. “We have taken to streets to give a message to everyone that women are free to move around at any time and cannot be forced to face harassment from men,” activist Amy Singh told the news agency.

The march was carried out a week after Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar stalked 29-year-old Varnika Kundu in Chandigarh. Both the accused were arrested on August 9 for stalking and attempting to abduct the woman.

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