Delhi Police detains five protesters at Jantar Mantar

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 13:08 hrs

New Delhi: The peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar demanding speedy punishment for the rapists of the 23-year-old girl was marred by violence on Sunday when a group allegedly belonging to BJP's student wing ABVP clashed with police on being denied permission to take out a march.

Five persons, including some members of the ABVP, were detained following the incident but were released later and the situation quickly brought under control.

The incident occurred even as a group of protesters sat on a one-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in the heart of Capital while others shouted slogans holding placards in their hands.

A group of protesters also painted slogans and graphics on sheets of paper spread on the road.

The hitherto peaceful protest turned violent at around 1 pm when a group among the protesters carrying flags and banners of ABVP tried to take out a march from Jantar Mantar to Connaught Place but police prevented them from moving ahead, following which the clash erupted.

While one group went ahead with the peaceful protest, another group tried to break the iron barricades and police called in more reinforcement.

Protesters managed to break some of the barricades but police immediately contained them.

At Jantar Mantar, young and old, men and women gathered at the epicentre of protest from morning in an outpouring of grief and anger at the rape and death of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student.

A group of protesters sat on a one-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar while others shouted slogans holding placards in their hands.

India Gate and Raisina Hill, where violent protests had taken place last week, remained out of bounds for public today as hundreds of policemen in riot gear guarded the area andkept a hawk's vigil.

"The entire central vista including Rajpath, Vijay Chowk and all roads leading to India Gate will be closed for general traffic. Kamal Attaturk Marg has also been closed. All travellers are advised to avoid these roads," police said.

Five out of the ten metro stations in Central Delhi, that were closed down for anindefinite period in the wake of the death of the gangrape victim, were opened this afternoon.

The stations which opened are Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk and Patel Chowk.

Foreigners also join protests at Jantar Mantar

Some foreigners also joined the protests, moved by the savage attack on the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist, who was cremated Sunday morning.

"It is a painful incident," 27-year-old Gerardo Angiulli from Argentina said.

A professional photographer touring India on a project, he said he came on his own to Jantar Mantar, a 18th century brick-work observatory, that has turned into a protest site.

Thousands of people, young and old, women and men, are protesting at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital, ever since the Dec 16 brutal gang rape of the 23-year old woman, who died Saturday night in a Singapore hospital and was cremated here Sunday morning.

Angiulli said he understands the pain of the family and wanted to join the protestors to show solidarity.

"I have three sisters in Argentina and I can feel the pain of the family members," Angiulli, who was accompanied by a female colleague, said.

"I think women in India are ill-treated and it really upsets me. This is one major reason for such incidents to happen," he said.

Angiulli's colleague Helene Dosia, in her 20s, said the best way to wake authorities was to hold peaceful protests.

Andrew Wilson from Britain said he had come to India for a visit with his family.

"I read about it and was really moved. I wanted to be part of this peaceful protest," said Wilson, who has been in India before.

"I prayed for the departed soul. It must be a very traumatic time for the family," he said.

"The outpouring of grief and sorrow (at Jantar Mantar) has really moved me. I hope the government would step in now and stop such barbarous incidents from happening in the future," Wilson said as protestors raised angry slogans against the government for not doing enough to stop such attacks from happening. 

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