New Delhi: Delhi on Monday turned into a fortress a day after violent protests rocked India Gate which was kept out of bounds for people but protests continued in the city which witnessed traffic mess hassling office goers, students and others.
As the outrage continued over the December 16 gang-rape of a 23-year-old student, police said charge sheet will be filed "within a week" in the case even as two Assistant Commissioners of Police were suspended and explanations sought from two DCPs on why the crime could not be prevented.
In a fresh appeal for peace, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured that government will look into delay in response in the gang-rape case as also all aspects concerning the security of women while asking people to desist from violence.
Cutting short his visit to the US, Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna returned to the capital and held discussions with senior police officials and women`s groups to chalk out a plan for improving safety of women in the capital.
"We have suspended two ACPs Mohan Singh Dabas (Traffic) and Yagram (PCR). I have instructed the Police Commissioner to seek explanation from DCPs Premnath (Traffic) and Satbir Kataria (PCR) and will decide on further action after that," he told reporters.
The condition of the victim has deteriorated and she remained in a critical condition at Safdarjung Hospital, doctors said. "She is still in a critical condition and not out of danger," doctors said.
Security personnel kept Rajpath, the stretch linking India Gate and Raisina Hill leading to Rashtrapati Bhavan, locked down with barricades and heavy deployment of personnel with riot-gear besides disallowing traffic on Rajpath and closing down nine Delhi Metro stations.
It was chaos on roads as police restricted vehicular movement around India Gate leading to huge traffic jams in central Delhi, including near ITO, Mathura Road and roads leading to the VIP areas.
At Jantar Mantar, a number of protesters gathered to demand speedy punishment for the criminals involved in the gangrape but no violence was reported.
Today`s protests appeared muted as police did not allow anybody to reach near India Gate or Raisina Hill, which saw pitched battles between security forces and protesters yesterday leaving around 150 injured from both sides.
There were also small protests near Safdarjung Hospital,
where the rape victim is undergoing treatment.
With regard to violence during protests yesterday, police have registered four cases, including one against former Army Chief V K Singh and yoga guru Ramdev on charges of rioting and damage to public property.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that certain "political elements" were behind yesterday`s violence at India Gate and its surrounding areas. "We have information that some political elements were behind the violence. We are enquiring into it," he said.
In his televised address, the Prime Minister said he and his family join in the concern for the victim, who was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi.
"As a father of three daughters myself, I feel as strongly about this as each one of you," Singh said adding the government was constantly monitoring her medical condition.
Emphasising that anger at this crime is "justified", he said, "but violence will serve no purpose...We will examine into delay not only the responses to this terrible crime but also all aspects concerning the safety and security of women."
BJP slammed the government for turning down its suggestion of convening a special Parliament session to make a tougher law on crime against women and said it will raise the issue with President Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said it is regrettable that government "does not want to talk" to the Opposition or the protesters.
Thousands of commuters were stranded at major intersections due to massive traffic jams as several roads and nine Metro stations were shut down to prevent the protesters from reaching India Gate and Raisina Hill.
ITO Bridge, one of the major connections in the capital, was clogged with vehicles since morning hours and the chaos only aggravated as the day progressed with people having to wait patiently for hours.
There was traffic chaos at Pragati Maidan, Nizamuddin Bridge, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, Mother Teresa Cresent Road, Mathura Road, Khan Market, Mandi House and Barakhamba Road, besides other major sections.