Delhi gangrape: Teargas, water cannons used against protesters

PTI | DECEMBER 22, 2012, 12:22 PM IST

Police fired teargas shells and used water cannons asseveral hundreds of young students today marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan forthe second day demanding justice for the 23-year-old gangrape victim.

A boy and a girl and a traffic policeman were injured as thepolice directed water jets and opened a volley of teargas shells that pushedthem back a little even as some of the protesters braved the chill andwaterbottles and shoes at the policemen.

Window panes of a police van were smashed. One of the girlsbroke the glass window of a bus with her hands.

The police action came as 'negotiations' failed at theRaisina Hill leading to Rashtrapati Bhawan failed and the protesters,comprising largely young women and men, tried to breach the barricades to pushtowards the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The protest spot resembled a battle zone with empty shellsand wet roads. The area has been cordoned off and police reinforcements havebeen rushed to the Hill that divides the North and South Block, which housesthe Prime Minister's Office.

Girl protesters alleged that policemen hit them with lathisand declared they will launch a sit-in in the area.

Protests refused to disperse from the place.

As protests continued for the sixth day, former Army Chief VK Singh joined the demonstrators the at India Gate blaming "systemiccollapse" for brutal rape of a young girl last Sunday in a moving bus.

An injured girl has been rushed to hospital. The youthsgathered at India Gate from early in the morning and marched through Rajpathtowards Raisina Hill.

The young protesters broke security cordons erected onRajpath and managed to reach near Raisina Hill where they were stopped.

Yesterday too, the capital also several protests includingthe one in front of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The former army chief said "You see this problem isbecause of systemic failure of governance. Police reforms have been lying incold storage for the last so many years. Why haven't they done anything aboutit? Why do we have to hear such things from a police commissioner saying thathe doesn't have man-power? It is shameful.

"Why do you have to see the spectacle on televisionwhere Ministry of Home officials have to go out on the streets checking things?Isn't there a failure? This needs to be addressed. This failure comes becauseof political and bureaucratic apathy in this country," the former Armychief said.

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