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Attempts to break police barricades at Jantar Mantar protests: latest developments

Attempts to break police barricades at Jantar Mantar protests: latest developments
New Delhi Protests on crime against women took an ugly turn at Jantar Mantar when a group of around 50 people, who reportedly infiltrated the peaceful protest, tried to break down barricades set up by police. This comes on a day when the body of 23-year-old medical student, who died after being brutally gang-raped in a bus, was brought back to Delhi.

Here are the latest developments:

  • The body of Amanat (NOT her real name) was brought back from Singapore earlier this morning. A special Air India aircraft carrying the body landed at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International  airport at around 4:15 am. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were present at the airport.
  • Five of the 10 Metro stations that were closed to the public since yesterday are now open. They are Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk and Patel Chowk. Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Jor Bagh and Khan Market remain closed.
  • Like yesterday, most of the India Gate area in the heart of the capital is closed today. The outer radial, which was opened for traffic earlier in the morning, too has been closed.
  • In Delhi, hundreds of people had gathered at Jantar Mantar on Saturday. Many carried placards highlighting the lack of safety for women. Candlelight protests were also held in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit tried to join the demonstration yesterday but left after lighting a candle as many in the crowd heckled her. They said they did not want to politicise the somber proceedings.
  • Early on Saturday morning, the police sealed all access to India Gate where thousands of protesters clashed with cops last weekend. 5,000 policemen and security personnel, some in riot gear, stood guard near the monument in the heart of Delhi.
  • Ms Dikshit had asked Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to allow the protesters to go to India Gate, but her request was turned down. She also appealed for calm in the city.
  • Dozens of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi marched silently to the bus stop from where the girl and her friend had boarded the bus on December 16. They carried placards reading, "She is not with us but her story must awaken us."
  • The six men arrested for the depraved attack on Amanat have now been charged with murder. The police is working on a 1000-page chargesheet against them; the trial could begin in the first week of January when courts reopen after a winter break.
  • Five of the arrested men are in Delhi's Tihar Jail and have been moved to high-security cells to prevent potential attacks from other prisoners. The sixth, a minor, is at a juvenile home in Delhi.
  • Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said the six face death penalty if convicted.
  • Doctors who attended to Amanat in Singapore said: "She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds, but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome."

(With inputs from agencies)
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