New Delhi: Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar, who had suffered serious injuries when a protest against the gang-rape of a young medical student turned violent at India Gate on Sunday, died at a hospital in the capital today. He was cremated with full state honours at Delhi's Nighambodh Ghat this afternoon. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Minister of State for Home RPN Singh and Home Secretary RK Singh were among the 1000 people who attended his funeral. (Delhi constable cremated with full state honours)
Mr Tomar, 45, was found lying unconscious on Tilak Marg near India Gate on Sunday and was rushed to Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. He had since been on ventilator. It was initially reported that he had suffered a heart attack after being injured. But top police officials later denied these reports and alleged that Mr Tomar was beaten up by hooligans among the protesters.
Eight people, including one activist of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, were arrested in connection with the attack on constable Tomar. They were arrested and charged with attempt to murder yesterday, but were released on bail due to lack of evidence. They have now been charged with murder.
"We have lost a very brave policeman. We are sending the body for post-mortem so we know the specific reason for his death. We will provide all support to the family and help them," Taj Hassan, the Joint Commissioner of Central Zone, said today. Mr Tomar's post-mortem was conducted at Lady Hardinge Medical College hospital this morning.
No eyewitness has so far come forward to identify his alleged assailants.
Mr Tomar is survived by his wife and three children - two sons and a daughter. Speaking to NDTV, his family appealed to protesters to maintain calm. "It's dangerous being a policeman. But he did it because he loved his job and it was his duty. This violence will not serve any purpose," said his wife Amrish Devi.
Mr Tomar's elder son, Deepak, complained that no leader came to see his father while he was struggling for his life in the hospital. "No leader came here to see him. Public is responsible for this. They beat him up badly. Can they give me my father back?" He had told NDTV yesterday that when he saw television reports of the violence at India Gate, he phoned his father on his cellphone. But someone else answered and said Mr Tomar had fallen to the ground and was being moved to hospital.
All personnel in the Delhi Police have reportedly decided to donate one day's salary to Mr Tomar's family.
Mr Tomar was a graduate in arts and hailed from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. He joined the police force in 1987 and was currently posted in Karawal Nagar area of Delhi. He was among the police personnel deployed around India Gate on Sunday for maintaining law and order during a protest against the brutal rape of Amanat (NOT her real name) in a moving bus in the heart of Delhi on December 16.
The protests against the rape began on Saturday as thousands of young people gathered at India Gate and marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan demanding justice for the girl, who is currently battling for her life. On Sunday, however, the demonstrations turned violent with the police clashing repeatedly with students and others protesters.
The spontaneous movement led largely by students devolved into riots as thousands of protesters defied police orders and gathered there to demand stricter laws against rape and more safety for women in the capital.
The police used tear-gas and water-cannons repeatedly, partly because some miscreants in the crowd set a car and wooden benches on fire. The Delhi Police said 78 policemen were injured in stone-pelting by hooligans who had joined the protesters. Around 65 protesters were also injured.