The heart of the national capital turned into a fortress with police blocking roads leading to India Gate and Raisina Hill in the wake of violent protests over the past few days against the brutal rape of 23-year-old girl.
Police blocked Rafi Marg from both sides and one carriage way of Ashoka Road, Copernicus Marg and other stretches around the India Gate.
Media persons were also not allowed near India Gate or Raisina Hill, where the situation had become tensed last evening with the police using water cannons to disperse the angry protestors
Prohibitory orders that were imposed under Section 144 yesterday remains. All the nine metro stations in the vicinity of India Gate have also been closed until further orders to ensure crowds of people do not attempt to reach the protesting venue.
According to an advisory issued late last night by the Delhi Metro,Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course and Khan Market will remain closed till further orders.
Meanwhile, the protestors have gathered at the Jantar Mantar here after the lockdown at India Gate.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, earlier this morning expressed sadness at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and the police forces here yesterday, and appealed to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm.
"My fellow citizens, there is genuine and justified anger and anguish at the ghastly crime of gang-rape committed last Sunday in Delhi. As a father of three daughters myself, I feel as strongly about this as each one of you. My wife and family and I are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the victim of this heinous crime," said Dr. Singh in his televised statement this morning.
"We are constantly monitoring her medical condition. Let us all pray for her and her loved ones during this critical time. I feel deeply sad at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces," he added.
Dr. Singh said 'anger at this crime is justified, but violence will serve no purpose'.
The Central Government, which has under sharp criticism following the widespread public fury over the brutal gang-rape, has decided to constitute a committee of eminent jurists to have a re-look at the existing rape laws.
The condition of the 23-year-old girl, who is presently being treated at the Safdarjung Hospital here, continues to be critical. (ANI)