School students from across the city gathered on Friday to raise their concern over the increasing cases of rape and demanded severe punishments to the culprits at a gathering at Xavier’s College.Prominent personalities like Justice Abhay Thipsay (retired High Court Judge), MN Singh (retired Police Commissioner), Advocate Rizwan Merchant (noted criminal lawyer), Advocate Nilofer Akhtar (noted women’s rights lawyer) and Daisy Irani (veteran Bollywood actor) were also present to express their solidarity.Sara Charania, a student of class 11 of Singapore International School, said, “Ignorance has given rise to rape culture. It is shocking that people have ignored that person who rapes a girl is a criminal.”Echoing the sentiments of Charania, another student from the same school, Dnyaneshwari Haware, grade 11 said, “Education is a solution to stop such things. We need to educate people from the rural areas so that such incidents get reported to the police. “Dr Abraham Mathai, Founder Chairman, Harmony Foundation, said, “I feel every girl child in India is fearful and angry for her safety because in India a girl child is not safe inside the womb or outside the womb. Unless the birth of a girl child is not celebrated as much as a boy her true empowerment will only remain a dream. “Advocate Rizwan Merchant from Harmony Foundation, said, “Most of the time lack of forensic and medical evidences helps culprits to set free in most of the cases.”Merchant announced the Harmony brigade, a panel of women lawyers formed under his guidance who will take up the cause of rape victims all over the state, not only to fight for justice for the victim and her family but also to guide, advise and participate in the investigation by the police machinery.

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Mumbai: Activists, students join voices protesting rape cases