Three hundred blind people marched through the centre of New Delhi, India on Tuesday (25 March) to demand more jobs and protest against an incident last week (16 March) when demonstrators were beaten up by Indian police.
GV Janata Party demonstrators march down street towards boat club in New Delhi
SV Men with white bands around mouths marching and carrying placards (2 shots)
SV Former Foreign Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, addressing rally
GV Demonstrators seated and listening
SV Janata Party leader, Mr. Madhu Dandavate addressing rally
GV Demonstrators seated listening
GV Blind marchers
GV Police with batons move forward
SV Blind marchers walking with hands on each other's shoulders
CU's Blind demonstrators chanting
SV Marchers chanting (2 shots)
GV Marchers carrying big banner with policemen walking alongside
GV Marchers parade down wide street
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Background: Three hundred blind people marched through the centre of New Delhi, India on Tuesday (25 March) to demand more jobs and protest against an incident last week (16 March) when demonstrators were beaten up by Indian police. In contrast was another demonstration in the Indian capital that day when some 200 members of the country's Opposition Janata Party marched in silent protest against the dissolution of nine state assemblies by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
SYNOPSIS: The Janata Party workers, with white bands tied around their mouths, were also protesting against the closing down of the opposition controlled Delhi Metropolitan Council last week (21 March). The Indian government claimed that the council no longer reflected the will of the people and was not efficient.
Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Foreign Minister, said the dissolution of the Delhi council marked a return of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's emergency rule days in 1975. He was joined by the Janata Party leader, Mr Madhu Dandavate, in charging that people who had committed excesses during the emergency were being put back in top positions in government.
When three-hundred blind marchers took to the streets of Delhi they were protected against traffic by police. The marchers' protest concerned a police action on March 16th when they injured about 100 blind demonstrators with bamboo canes known as lathis. During this demonstration the police were not carrying lathis and at the end of the four-mile march they were on hand to give water to the blind marchers.
The tough police action against the blind marchers earlier this month caused a national outcry and an apology by Mrs Gandhi who ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.