Traffic restrictions eased as anti-rape protests calm down

Police eased traffic restrictions at India Gate and Raisina Hill but did not lift prohibitory orders even as protests over the gang-rape of a girl calmed down.

New Delhi: Police on Wednesday eased traffic restrictions at India Gate and Raisina Hill but did not lift prohibitory orders even as protests over the gang-rape of a girl calmed down.

Questions were also raised over the cause of a constable`s death during demonstrations.

A journalism student Yogendra, who claimed to be an eye-witness, contradicted police version that Constable Subhash Tomar was beaten up by protesters leading to his death, saying he fell down on his own.

The Delhi police declined to be drawn into the controversy with its spokesperson Rajan Bhagat saying "no comments till the post-mortem report is out".

Yesterday, Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had said that Tomar had suffered internal injuries in his neck, chest and stomach and were waiting for the post-mortem report to ascertain the exact cause of his death. Tomar died last morning.

Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party demanded sacking of Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, alleging that police were misleading people by arresting eight "innocent youth" in connection with the incident.

Doctors at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital said the Constable had no major external injury marks when he was brought to the hospital and that he had suffered a heart attack.

"I was at India Gate with a female friend who was injured. I saw one policeman who was running after protesters and then suddenly collapsing. We rushed towards him and some policemen were also there. Suddenly, the policemen started running after other protesters.”

"So I rushed to a nearby PCR van. They took him to hospital. I also went in the same vehicle. I saw him in hospital and his body didn`t have any injuries. He wasn`t trampled by a mob, he wasn`t assaulted. The claims of police are false. I am surprised to hear that eight were arrested over Subhash Tomar`s death," he claimed.

Traffic was smooth as police lifted restrictions near India Gate and Raisina Hill, which witnessed violent weekend protests. Nine Metro stations, which were closed since Sunday morning, were reopened for public from last evening.

Reacting to Yogendra`s claims, Kejriwal said his account was opposite of what police said. "Is police lying?" he asked. AAP leader Yogendra Yadav also alleged that the TV
footage showed opposite of what the police were saying.

"Police claim the rioters had hit him, he was trampled upon by protestors and this is why he collapsed. The footage showed he collapsed on his own. The evidence is in the public domain, it suggests the contrary," he said.

AAP chief spokesperson Manish Sisodia alleged police were "politicising" Tomar`s death to cover their mistakes and demanded that Kumar be sacked.

"The Delhi police should have dealt with the matter with sensitivity and honoured the constable`s death. But, the police have politicised the death to cover their own mistakes. We feel that the Delhi police are involved in a conspiracy. The police commissioner should be sacked," he said.