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Child rape protests lock down heart of city

Protests broke out in different parts of the Capital on Saturday over the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl and the manner in which the case was handled initially by the police.

Written by Sumegha Gulati | New Delhi | Published: April 21, 2013 1:02:28 am

Protests broke out in different parts of the Capital on Saturday over the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl and the manner in which the case was handled initially by the police.

Over 500 protesters,mostly students of Delhi University and JNU,gathered outside police headquarters (PHQ) in Central Delhi on Saturday,shouting slogans against the government and police.

Demonstrators broke through the barriers and clashed with police personnel. They also tried to enter the PHQ premises but could not break the security cordon.

Balbir Singh (90) came from Mandawali to participate in the protest. “Our little daughter has been raped and brutalised. This government is inefficient. It could not prevent the rape but had the audacity to offer the victim’s father a bribe,” he said.

Protests were also staged outside AIIMS hospital where the child is presently admitted. More than 100 protesters gathered outside the hospital,demanding that they be allowed to see the child.

Eyewitnesses said the demonstrators had initially blocked the main entrance to the hospital but were later asked to stand behind barricades to ensure smooth movement of ambulances and other vehicles.

Angry scenes were also witnessed near Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s residence. Nearly 40 protesters of the SFI and Aam Aadmi Party tried to barge into the Home Minister’s residence around 12 pm.

Though they broke through the first tier of barricades,police stopped them soon after.

Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel claimed that he was manhandled while protesting outside Shinde’s residence,against the “heinous” rape .

Demonstrators blocked most of the roads in Central Delhi,leading to heavy traffic jams. “The main arterial road from East Delhi was blocked by protesters and had to be shut down. Protesters also blocked Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg by forming human chains,disrupting North Delhi-bound traffic temporarily. Vehicles were not allowed to pass through Mandi House and stretches such as IP Marg,Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg and Tilak Marg. Since Metro work is also underway on these stretches,traffic moved slowly. More personnel had to be called in to ensure smooth flow of traffic,” a Traffic personnel said.

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