New Delhi: Hundreds of people, mainly the young, on Sunday continued their noisy protests against the gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman, sparking off sporadic clashes with polices.
Having barricaded all roads leading to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and nearby government offices, security forces sprayed water at a large crowd shouting slogans against the Delhi police and demanding death to the rapists. Eight Delhi Metro stations were shut today, but that seemed to have no impact on the crowds.
There is genuine and justified anger and anguish at this
ghastly incident, PM said today on Delhi gangrape.
I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and
calm, PM said.
I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to
ensure security and safety to all women in this country, PM added
Demanding accountability of senior police officers in the gang-rape incident, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wanted immediate setting up of fast-track courts to try rape cases with provisions in the law even for death penalty in rare cases.
She also called for a "serious look" at VIP security deployment in the Capital, saying it cannot be an "excuse" for not providing security to the common man.
She said that suspension of a few lower-level policemen was not enough and senior officers should also be held accountable.
Releasing the medical bulletin of the Delhi gang-rape victim today evening, the doctors at Safdarjung Hospital said that the 23-year old girl continued to be serious and her platelet count was fluctuating.
However, they said that the girl was conscious and was talking and communicating. “She has fever, otherwise her urine output and her blood pressure is normal.” But she was again put on ventilator support today, they added.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for a review of the law and order situation in the capital.
Dikshit drove to Shinde's residence immediately after presiding over an emergency Delhi Cabinet meeting which expressed serious concerns about the prevailing situation.
A constable is battling for life in a government hospital after he was critically injured in violence at India Gate where people were protesting the gangrape of a young girl in a moving bus.
"Constable Subhash Tomar is fighting for his life," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said.
As protests against the gangrape incident turned violent, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj called for an all-party meeting and made an appeal to youths not to resort to violence, saying this is not the solution.
Swaraj said she had spoken to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in the evening on the need for convening the meeting to "resolve the situation."
Delhi Police constable critically injured during the protests, as per news reports.
Delhi High Court said, "The recent brutal gang-rape incident in Delhi has shaken the entire nation."
In an unprecedented move, the Delhi High Court today directed day-to-day trial in all sexual assault cases against women being heard by lower courts.
In its report sent to Home Ministry, sources said, police claimed that it had to resort to baton charge and lobbing teargas shells due to violence.
Sources said Delhi Police informed the Ministry that "some vested interests" had joined the protesters and were fomenting trouble.
"Police had to take action like lathicharge and lobbing teargas because of violence. Otherwise it is taking extra precaution to maintain peace," sources quoted Delhi Police as saying.
The Delhi Cabinet is scheduled to meet at 5.30 pm to review the situation arising out of the violent public protests.
Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj tweets: “My young friends, we appreciate your feelings. Your anger is genuine. But please give us some time. I have just spoken to the Home Minister to convene an all party meeting to resolve this situation. Please do not resort to violence. That is not the solution. It is our country. This is our problem. We will definitely find a solution.”
Protesters set barricades on fire at India Gate.
Clashes between supporters of Baba Ramdev and police at Jantar Mantar.
The rape victim is undergoing a minor surgery at Safdarjung Hospital.
Gang-rape accused Ram Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma have been sent to 14-day judicial custody, say reports.
Protesters, police pelt stones at each other.
Protesters pelt stones at police at India Gate. Police fire tear-gas.
Scores of buses filled with protesters, led by Baba Ramdev on top of the lead bus, reach Jantar Mantar.
Central Delhi faced huge traffic chaos due to a security clampdown on Rajpath even as protesters blocked roads near India Gate.
The fifth accused, a minor, in the gang-rape case has agreed for Test Identification Parade, which will take place on December 26.
Protesters refuse to budge from India Gate and Rajpath.
Some protesters indulged in violence as they stopped East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit at India Gate, heckled him and damaged his car.
Section 144 lifted at India Gate. Peaceful protests permitted.
Police lathi-charge protesters near Rail Bhavan, say reports.
Police use water cannons against protestors.
Police stop Baba Ramdev near Pragati Maidan from joining protesters.
Defying prohibitory orders, protesters reach Rajpath again.
Addressing media outside 10, Janpath along with a delegate of students who met Sonia Gandhi, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh said the students have been assured that the case would be fast-tracked and be included in the rarest of the rare bracket.
Gang-rape victim's health deteriorates, say doctors.
Meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and protesters over. Rahul Gandhi also took part. According to some students, Sonia Gandhi assured women protesters her support.
Sitting on a dharna near Hyderabad House on Ashoka Road, Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, said: "The people's anger is understandable. The government inaction, apathy and arrogance are intolerable. But I would appeal all not to indulge in violence. Section 144 (prohibitory orders) in whole of New Delhi is unprecedented. The government is scared of people. The government is at war with the people. How can the government prevent unarmed people from peacefully protesting? Section 144 must be defied to save democracy”.
The Delhi police give permission to protesters to continue their protests at Ramlila Maidan.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit said a strong law will be made. She will meet Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today. Urging people to stay calm, the Delhi CM said that police should have taken preventive measures earlier.
Protesters being dispersed from India Gate. Some protesters are meeting with Sonia Gandhi.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal tweets: “Sec 144 in whole of New Delhi? Unprecedented. Govt of India scared of People of India. Govt of India at war with people of India”.
Police urge protestors to move to Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Maidan, say reports.
Protesters reach Sonia Gandhi's residence, 10 Janpath.
Reports say Pragati Maidan metro station has also been closed till further orders besides seven others.
Delhi police say protest banned at Jantar Mantar.
Baba Ramdev to join protesters later today.
Seven metro stations near India Gate and Raisina Hill have already been closed from this morning till further orders. Last night, it was decided to close four stations -- Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan and Race Course -- but this morning it was extended to three more -- Barakhamba, Mandi House and Khan Market.
Prohibitory orders not in place at Jantar Mantar.
Protesters removed from India Gate and Vijay Chowk.
Huge number of security personnel has been deployed at India Gate, Vijay Chowk.
Protesters shouted slogans inside the bus.
Police evacuated a number of protesters from Raisina Hill and outside Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's residence where they had stayed put since last night.
Around 6:30 am, police suddenly made announcements about clamping Section 144 of CrPC prohibiting assembly of more than four persons in the New Delhi district and herded the protesters into the buses.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in a surprise move on Saturday night, had came out of her residence and met protesters. According to a protester, Gandhi told them "I am with you. I can't tell when the justice will be delivered, but surely it will be. We will do something."
First Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012, 09:13