The Congress party held a midnight candle-light march to India Gate in the national capital on Thursday to protest and demand justice in the Unnao and Kathua rape cases.
Senior party leaders Salman Khurshid, Ambika Soni and Ahmed Patel began the march at the Congress headquarters, and were soon joined by not only Congress president Rahul Gandhi, but also his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra.
The crowd often verged on getting out of hand, climbing over security barricades at the out-of-bounds monument, with Priyanka Gandhi at one point angrily telling off persons for pushing.
Speaking to Republic TV, Ambika Soni spoke out against the two BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government who had backed fringe group Hindu Ekta Manch's communally-toned protests for a CBI probe into the horrific Kathua rape and murder, details of which were revealed in the chargesheet that was released on Monday and sent a wave of outrage across the country.
Rahul Gandhi was seen marching using his phone's flashlight in stead of a candle. After reaching India Gate, he sat down and addressed the media:
"We want that the government conduct an investigation."
"Wherever we see, somewhere or the other, girls and women are raped or murdered. We want that the government resolve whether Indian women can peacefully step onto the streets and live freely. This is a national matter, not a political matter. This is a women's issue. There are people of all parties here. There are thousands of people here." The situation in the country... what's happening with women... the government has to do something about it."
"Let Modiji begin the work of saving them."
Before the protest, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted the following: