Motorcyclists take out rally advocating women's safety in Bangalore
Motorcycle riders from all walks of life gathered for a rally in Bangalore on Saturday morning to mark their condolences to the deceased victim of the recent the Delhi gang-rape, and to put across their demand for women's safety.
The woman whose gang rape in New Delhi triggered violent protests died of her injuries on Saturday in a Singapore hospital, bringing a security lockdown in Delhi and recognition from prime minister that social change is needed.
Riders and their friends riding pillion rode through the streets of Bangalore, carrying banners denouncing rape and gender-based violence.
Apart from enthusiasts riding cruiser bikes, the rally also featured commuters on their smaller motorcycles and scooters, with women riders occupying a prominent position.
The rallyists expressed their dismay at the death of the rape victim, and were unanimous in their call for change.
"All of us are deeply shocked by this entire incident. The entire country has woken up to this movement. This ride is happening in seven metro cities today. Everyone is shocked. We want to stop this gender-based violence. We do not believe in it.
"All of the bikers over here are here to say that please, stop this. We want a better future. And, we are looking for change. This is our way to show that we will stand up for it," said Chitra, a motorcyclist.
The rallyists also said that the first change must come from within the common people, and that they must stand up against the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault.
The capital braced for a new wave of protests, closing metro stations and banning vehicles from the city centre district where young activists had converged to demand improved women's rights. The news came in the early hours of the morning in India and there were no signs of protests as morning broke.
The 23-year-old medical student, severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi two weeks ago, had been flown to Singapore in a critical condition by the Indian government on Thursday (December 27) for specialist treatment.