New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm, hundreds of people gathered in the city centre Monday demanding "justice" to the gang-rape victim here.
Shouting "We Want Justice", some 600 young and the middle-aged massed near the Jantar Mantar monument, watched by a large body of policemen who barricaded the entire area.
Protesters who spoke to IANS made it clear that they wanted to demonstrate peacefully and did not want any repeat of the violence which left a large number of policemen and protesters injured Sunday.
On Monday, police and paramilitary personnel laid siege to areas all around India Gate, where hundreds indulged in violence while seeking death to the rapists of the 23-year-old now battling for life.
Even journalists were denied access to India Gate, a World War I monument in the heart of the capital.
The crowds at Jantar Mantar -- swelling by the hour -- included school and college students, people from the neighbourhood, and members of women's groups and NGOs.
"We need justice to be delivered as soon as possible, and we will keep protesting till that happens," said Shruti Singh, 19, a Delhi University student.
IT professional Abhay Raj said he disapproved of the stone-pelting and violence of Sunday. "We're here to protest non-violently."
Others at the site held placards and cloth banners denouncing the Dec 16 rape as well as crime against women. Some shouted "Rapists should be crushed" and "Women want freedom".
Government employees entering Rail Bhavan, Udhyog Bhavan and other offices close to the India Gate lawns were given entry only if they showed their identity cards.
The police barricading of the city centre and the cancellation of services by Delhi Metro to nine major stations led to major traffic jams.