Gang rape protesters defy ban, lathi-charged at India Gate
The National Capital continued to remain angry on Sunday over the brutal rape of a young girl in a moving bus a week ago, and despite ban orders, India Gate virtually turned into a battle ground with police lathi-charging and teargasing furious protesters who included girls and women.
Protesters demanding justice and death sentence for the accused rapists pelted stones and fought a pitched battles using rods with the police which repeatedly lobbed tear-gas shells, resorted to use of water jets and used force to disperse the agitators. Eight Metro stations near India Gate and Raisina Hills were closed as part of police measures to contain the agitation.
Amid reports that ‘some elements’ were inciting violence, clashes erupted for the second time within 90 minutes at around 2:30 p.m. when protesters pelted stones at the police which had barricaded Rajpath leading to Raisina Hills but the reason for the provocation could not be ascertained. At 3:15 p.m. again, the police lobbed tear-gas shells and used water jets after the protesters resorted to stone-pelting. Some protesters also used rods to attack policemen, eyewitnesses said.
However, most of the protesters remained peaceful and objected to the use of violence during the protests. They alleged that those who indulged in violence had motives. The protesters damaged the barricades erected on the lawns for Republic Day functions next month, damaged vehicles and even blocked traffic around India Gate and its arterial roads for hours.Many Metro stations were closed to thwart protesters bid to reach India gate.
Meanwhile, Doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital said the condition of the victim continues to be critical, though she been talking.. A group of protesters also met Sonia and Rahul Gandhi during which the Congress top leaders assured speedy action while refusing to give a time-frame for it. Breaking security cover, Sonia Gandhi came out at midnight on Saturday and listened patiently to the students demanding stiff punishment for rapists, sitting on the grass with temperature hovering around 6 Deg C.
Eight Metro stations near India Gate and Raisina Hills were closed as part of police measures to contain the agitation.
Delhi Police informed the Home Ministry that “some vested interests” had joined the protesters and were fomenting trouble.
- Asian Tribune -