Delhi gangrape protests intensify, cops fire teargas to quell clashes near parliament

Anti-rape protest

After a ding-dong battle with the police, hundreds of protesters resorted to a sit-in the area chanting slogans against the government and the police. They demanded stern measures to prevent incidents of rape and other crimes against women.

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

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

The area has been cordoned off and police reinforcements, including a contingent of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been rushed to the Hill that divides the North and South Block, which houses the Prime Minister's Office.

Girl protesters alleged that policemen hit them with lathis and declared they will launch a sit-in in the area. Protests refused to disperse from the place.

An injured girl has been rushed to hospital.

The youths gathered at India Gate since early morning and marched through Rajpath towards Raisina Hill. They broke the security cordons erected on Rajpath and managed to reach near Raisina Hill where they were stopped.

Yesterday too, the capital witnessed several protests, including one in front of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The former Army Chief said, "You see this problem is because of systemic failure of governance. Police reforms have been lying in cold storage for the last so many years. Why haven't they done anything about it? Why do we have to hear such things from a police commissioner saying that he doesn't have man-power? It is shameful.

"Why do you have to see the spectacle on television where 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 because of political and bureaucratic apathy in this country," the former Army Chief said.

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