Edited by Shamik Ghosh | Updated: December 23, 2012 11:27 IST
At India Gate about 50 young protestors, including women, reluctant to leave, got under buses, and clung to the vehicles and each other as the police tried to carry them away to the buses. Policemen were seen first requesting belligerent protestors to move out. A few protestors even climbed on top of buses and some tried to deflate the tyres. Some have refused to budge and are continuing to protest.
A little after 6 am today, about 60 protestors who had camped overnight at Vijay Chowk and some outside Mrs Gandhi's residence, were evacuated and driven to Bawana. They have been protesting against the brutal rape of 23-year-old medical student Amanat (NOT her real name) last Sunday.
India Gate is swarming with cops and rapid action force personnel in anti-riot gear. The police has told protestors that they can protest only at Ram Lila Maidan - all other protest sites in Delhi are out of bounds. Section 144 has been extended across the 34-km stretch that is New Delhi district. The section prohibits a gathering of more than five people anywhere where it is in operation. Security has been ramped up.
The police is making all efforts to ensure that people are not
allowed to gather in the area, which houses the Rashtrapati Bhawan,
Parliament and several other ministries after yesterday's protests got
out of hand.
Seven metro stations near India Gate - Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhavan, Race Course, Central Secretariat, Khan Market, Barakhamba Road and Mandi House - have been closed from 6 am today to control crowds in the area, which houses Parliament, the President's home, the Prime Minister's Office and several ministries.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is meeting five protestors; she had said yesterday that she would meet representatives. Minister of state for Home RPN Singh is also present, as is Mrs Gandhi's son and Congress number 2, Rahul Gandhi.
Activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party and yoga guru Baba Ramdev have announced that they will join the protests today. Mr Kejriwal said in a series of tweets this morning, "Am on my way to India Gate with Kumar Vishwas, Manish and Gopal bhai...Sec 144 MUST be defied. To save democracy. I, alongwith my friends, will defy sec 144 today...How can govt prevent unarmed people from peacefully protesting?...Sec 144 in whole of New Delhi? Unprecedented. Govt of India scared of People of India. Govt of India at war with people of India."
Yesterday, hundreds of protestors gathered at India Gate and near Rashtrapati Bhawan had grown resentful that nobody from the government chose to address them. A little before 11 am, a group of unruly protesters began running towards Raisina Hill, where several ministries and the Prime Minister's Office are located. When they pushed aside the barricades there, the police used tear-gas and water cannons.
Later last evening, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde met the demonstrators. At a press conference at Shastri Bhavan, he said that he had reassured them that the government shared the outrage and anguish that had cascaded into the streets since last Sunday's inhumane attack on the student.
The six men accused in the gang-rape of the 23-year old have been arrested. Five policemen have also been suspended for dereliction of duty while she was being assaulted.
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