New Delhi: A constable of the Delhi Police, Subhash Tomar, is in critical condition at a Delhi hospital after being injured in the protests today at India Gate. Several other protesters and two cops have also been injured.
Like yesterday, the demonstrations were massive and hostile and saw the police clashing repeatedly with students and others protesting against the brutal gang-rape of a medical student on a moving bus exactly a week ago.
Today policemen were seen thrashing a girl, a car was over-turned and set aflame and barricades were thrown aside before being set on fire.
At night, the chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, said she will request the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to ensure that fast-track courts start functioning immediately to handle rape cases and that the trial in last week's heinous attack is completed within an agreed-upon timeline.
"VIP security is not an excuse to not protect the common man," she said, addressing the frequent complaint that Delhi's police force is so preoccupied with protecting politicians that the city is left to fend for itself. When asked if Delhi's top cop Neeraj Kumar should be removed, she said, "The senior-most police official must be held accountable." (Read)
The jarring scenes today showed how a heartfelt movement led largely by students has devolved into riots because of unrestrained excessive measures by the police, an infiltration by miscreants and an unresponsive government that has failed to interact with protesters except through press conferences.
"We tried stopping them. They were using abusive language. When we asked them to back off, they refused. We also requested them not to throw water bottles at the police. There are many of them who are drunk and are eve-teasing. They have come here just to have some fun," said young a woman at the protest site.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul this morning invited a group of protesters into her home and told them that they would ensure action is taken In the case of the six men who have been arrested for last week's gang-rape. (Read) The protesters said later they were disappointed that the leaders did not commit to any deadlines.