No New Year celebrations for protestors

New Delhi, Dec 31 (IANS) They could have gone revelling on New Years' eve, but they chose to continue their protest in the bitter cold of Monday, demanding justice for the gang-rape victim and stricter anti-rape laws.

The determined crowd of a few hundred at Jantar Mantar raised anti-government slogans, lit candles and staged street plays. The protest continued late in the evening as many more joined the protests.

"It would be shame if I celebrate this New Year. My conscience does not allow me to party tonight," Saloni told IANS when asked about her plans for the New Year's eve.

Placards which read "I am sorry Damini, I am at fault. I elected worthless leaders", animated discussions and slogans denouncing politicians dominated the sights and sounds at Jantar Mantar.

"I have come here from Allahabad to protest. We had party plans but we are not going anywhere," Saloni said.

While many were seen standing huddled around candles, some prayed sitting on the ground.

"There is nothing to celebrate. And those who do, their souls are dead," said Deepak Arora from south Delhi.

Sahil, an engineering student, said: "How can I celebrate when people have been protesting here on empty stomachs. Can't I leave one party for them?"

There were several other groups expressing their solidarity.

In one such group, a couple of voices said: "They (government) say they cannot come to India Gate to talk to us but they can come to our doors for votes."

Some elderly people were also seen shouting and lending their support to the cause of women's security and safety which has galvanised the whole country.