New Delhi: Five people were detained after the peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar demanding speedy punishment for the rapists of the 23-year-old braveheart was marred by violence on Sunday. A group of protestors clashed with the police on being denied permission to take out a march.
The Rapid Action Force was called in to manage the crowd and the situation was quickly brought under control. The incident occurred even as a group of protesters sat on a one-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in the heart of capital while others shouted slogans holding placards in their hands. A group of protesters also painted slogans and graphics on sheets of paper spread on the road.
Meanwhile, the BJP questioned the government's decision to perform the last rites of the 23-year-old girl and said that step raises a lot of questiones. "The last rites of the victim's body in a hurried manner was avoidable. We understand the right of privacy. But this raises lot of curious questions," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Minister of State for Home RPN Singh, however, said, "We wanted to respect the privacy of the family. Even the media has done the same. We had no intention to perform the last rites of the girl secretly. The funeral was done according to the wishes of the family."
The hitherto peaceful protest turned violent at around 1 pm when a group among the protesters tried to take out a march from Jantar Mantar to Connaught Place but police prevented them from moving ahead, following which the clash erupted.
While one group went ahead with the peaceful protest, another group tried to break the iron barricades and police called in more reinforcement. Protesters managed to break some of the barricades but police immediately contained them.
At Jantar Mantar, young and old, men and women gathered at the epicentre of protest from morning in an outpouring of grief and anger at the rape and death of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student. A group of protesters sat on a one-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar while others shouted slogans holding placards in their hands.
India Gate and Raisina Hill, where violent protests had taken place last week, remained out of bounds for public on Sunday as hundreds of policemen in riot gear guarded the area and kept a hawk's vigil.
Meanwhile, five out of the ten metro stations in Central Delhi, that were closed down for anindefinite period in the wake of the death of the Delhi braveheart, were opened on Sunday afternoon. The stations which opened are Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk and Patel Chowk.
The body of the Delhi braveheart was laid to rest in the national capital amid heavy deployment of Delhi Police and RAF personnel. The last rites were performed under a dense cover of fog. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh, West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra, Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta also attended the last rites.
Media was not allowed at the site. A special aircraft of Air India carrying the mortal remains of the victim, who died in Mount Elizebeth hospital on Saturday morning, landed at IGI airport in New Delhi at around 3.30 am.
The death of the paramedical student has stirred emotions across the country with people holding candlelight vigils, protests and silent marches to mourn her death and demand justice for her.
Police have slapped murder charges, which has death penalty in rarest of rare cases, against the six accused and will file the chargesheet against them on January 3. Investigators said they will seek the harshest punishment for the culprits.
With Additional Inputs From PTI
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