Delhi gangrape: Violence at India Gate, hooligans hijack protests, many hurt

PTI Posted: Dec 23, 2012 at 1700 hrs
New Delhi Hooligans and some political elements today hijacked the peaceful protests in the Capital over the Delhi gangrape of a young girl resulting in violence and attacks against public property and police which retaliated with teargas and water cannons that led to injuries to persons on both sides.

A total of 78 policemen and 65 protesters were injured in the violence as protests at the Central Vista entered the third day prompting clamping of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC in New Delhi district banning assembly of four or more persons. The Vista is the 3-km broad avenue from India Gate that leads to Raisina hill which is home to PMO, Rastrapati Bhawan and Home Ministry among other government offices.

One of the injured policeman--Constable Subash Tomar -- is fighting for his life at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said tonight. Joint Commissioner (Central) Taj Hasan was among the injured. Some mediamen were also injured in the violence.

Police fired 250 teargas shells, repeatedly used water cannons and resorted to baton charge to disperse the protesters.

Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar blamed "hooligans" for the violence during protests against the gangrape of 23-year-old girl in a moving bus last Sunday night and said unruly elements have "hijacked" peaceful demonstrations.

He said at least 25 vehicles -- 12 DTC buses, 12 PCR vans and a Doordarshan vehicle -- were damaged.

Delhi Police in its report to Union Home Ministry said that some "vested interests" had joined the protesters and were instigating violence.

Protesters led by yoga guru Ramdev and former Army chief V K Singh clashed with police at Jantar Mantar, this afternoon when they were prevented from marching towards India Gate.

Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia sat on a dharna near Hyderabad House on Ashoka Road, close to India Gate. The youth outfit of BJP also took part in the protests.

Kumar disclosed that a former Chief Justice of India will constitute the Commission of Inquiry that will go into the gangrape incident, lapses by police and measures to be taken to ensure safety of women in Delhi and other parts of the country.