Defiant Protesters React to Gang Rape

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Sustained protests over the gangrape of a young girl erupted in Raisina Hill, the seat of power, as thousands of youth clashed with police undeterred by the repeated use of water cannons, teargas shells and baton charge.

Demonstrators comprising girls and boys gathered right from the morning at India Gate and marched to Raisina Hill where Rashtrapati Bhavan and Prime Minister’s Office are located.

The looked a battle ground as their repeated attempts to break the barricades and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan invited at least six rounds of spraying of water jets, teargassing and cane charging, injuring around 30 protesters.

Some policemen were also injured in the throwing of stones and other missiles at them. Police vehicles were also damaged in the violence.

As high-drama played out at the Vijay Chowk, near Parliament House, political parties condemned the police action and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh make a statement.

The Prime Minister called Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to his house and discussed a series of steps to ensure safety of women in the capital and to ensure that swift justice was meted out to the criminals involved in the bestial act on Sunday night when the 23-year-old woman was gangraped in a moving bus.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi also called the Prime Minister and the Home Minister over telephone and discussed the issue. She wanted appropriate action in the case.

The protesters fought pitched battles with the police through out the day. Reinforcements were rushed as the Rapid Action Force joined in attempts to contain the situation.

As the dusk fell, candle-light marches were taken at the India Gate, the scene of protests in the last few days.

The protest at the Raisina Hill turned violent in the evening when a group of protesters pelted stones and threw water bottles at police who used force and resorted to lobbing teargas at them, injuring many.

At around 5:30 pm, students protesting against the gangrape clashed with police near the VVIP gate of Parliament here following which personnel used force to disperse them.

With night settling in, it was complete chaos at Raisina Hills as people ran helter-skelter. Some policemen were seen throwing back stones at protesters.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old gangrape victim has given a “fearless and bold” statement before a magistrate about the brutal assault on Sunday night and wants her tormentors to be swiftly brought to justice.

The statement was recorded before a Sub-Divisional Magistrate by the girl yesterday at the Intensive Care Unit of the Safdarjung Hospital where she has been undergoing number of surgeries and medication since her admission there on Sunday night.

Delhi Police said the girl’s statement corroborates with the version of her male friend who was also assaulted brutally by six men inside a moving bus on Sunday last.

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