The Pinjra Tod: Break the Hostel Locks movement begin over a year ago in New Delhi to protest against the “no late night” mandate in women’s hostels in Delhi University, and to make public spaces safe and accessible to women. On December 16, 2015, they organised a “Bus Teri Meri, Chal Saheli: 16th Ki Raat” initiative, which saw participants ride buses and train at night to assert their right to access public spaces.
More recently, the group had organised a protest and all-night vigil on September 23. On the night, members marched in and around the North Campus of the Delhi University, and the neighbourhoods of Kamala Nagar and Vijay Nagar, where they had planned an all night demonstration, with songs, slogans and a street play performance.
The police accompanied the group during their march, and left once they began their vigil at a tea stall in Vijay Nagar, Subashini Shriya, one of the participants, told Scroll.in.
“During the vigil, we noticed a few men drinking nearby,” Shriya recalled. “There were only six or seven of them at first, but soon more of them came to the venue. They began to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, and were making rude gestures. Then one of them took a Rs 100 note, licked it and waved it about. He grabbed one of the women participants' wrists and there was a scuffle, after which the group drove off.”
The video above, compiled and edited using footage taken by participants and patrons at the tea stall, captures the events as they unfolded. A group of men can be heard chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”. Then there is a closeup of a man holding a currency note after, which a scuffle breaks out between him and a woman participant before the group drives off.
After the group of young men left, the vigil continued until 5 am.
Here's what else happened that night.