Bengaluru: In Bengaluru on Wednesday night, men and women gathered to say "I will go out". The movement, started by a group of students called Night in My Shining Armour, is a response to molestation and sexual assault on women on New Year's Eve in the city. "My body, my right" was one of the slogans shouted by those who had gathered and the message after the sexual assault and molestation of women in the city was loud and clear.
Young women present at the event said: "I will not be told where I cannot go... I want to be heard when I talk about this, people must listen... The shame belongs to the person who commits the crime, not the woman... It is not about being safe - it is about being free..."
And it was not only the women who came out to take a stand. Men were also present to raise their voice on the issue.
"This is hugely important - women should be free to be," said one young man.
The city police faced a huge storm of criticism after a group of men groped, stalked and harassed women on New Year's Eve, as thousands of people were partying in the city's biggest commercial stretch. Forty-five security cameras recorded the crowd and video footage circulated on social media had showed women crying and screaming for help.
On Wednesday, officers were present at the event to give a message of their own. Malini Krishnamoorthy, Additional Commissioner of Police spoke to the gathering. "We are on the same side," she said.
She told NDTV, "They must lodge complains even for smaller issues... As a woman officer I take the issue very seriously."
The gathering was just the first event organised by the group which hopes to keep the focus on the harassment of women which is so widespread in the country.