CHENNAI: People from 19 cities in India on Wednesday hit the streets to protest the wave of lynchings sweeping the nation. Protests took place between 5 pm to 8 pm in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Chandigarh, and several other cities.
In Bengaluru, silent protests were organised. Historian Ramachandra Guha and playwright Girish Karnad were seen holding ‘Not In My Name’ banners. Police said around 300 people joined the protests.
While Bengaluru’s protest was silent, it was raucous in Delhi. The crowd of 4,000 at Jantar Mantar sang, shouted slogans and wore paper vests proclaiming Not In My Name. “What I really like about this is that it is a citizen’s protest, not under any political umbrella,” said a youngster on NDTV.
Relatives of Pehlu Khan, a cow herder from Alwar district in Rajasthan who was lynched by a mob when he was transporting cows to dairy farm, took to the podium to voice out concerns.
Protestors in Hyderabad gathered around the Husain Sagar and held a silent protest, wearing black arm bands and carrying posters, banners and placards. They were asked to disperse by the police because they had no permission.
In Mumbai and Chandigarh, heavy showers during the protest did not deter people from attending the event. They thronged to the event clad in rain suits and holding umbrellas. Actors Shabana Azmi and Kalki Koechlin were seen at the protest in Mumbai.
Apart from cities in India, protestors in London gathered at short notice to express solidarity with the movement in India.
The protest moment was triggered by the killing of a teenager in a train near Delhi on June 23. Following the incident, independent filmmaker Saba Dewan calling for a protest against lynchings. The post went viral.
In Delhi, scores of people ranging from political leaders, activist, students and commoners gathered at the iconic protest site Jantar Mantar.
Members of the student community, transgenders along with political leaders such as deputy Delhi chief minister Manish Sisodia, K C Tyagi and D Raja among others were seen showing solidarity with the protestors.