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At least 150 people, including 78 policemen, were injured and a constable suffered cardiac arrest and was battling for life in hospital as street protests over the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman on board a bus a week ago turned violent in the heart of New Delhi on Sunday.
All roads leading to Rajpath and India Gate were sealed after police resorted to lathicharge and use of teargas to clear protesters from the area. Delhi Metro announced that nine stations in central Delhi will remain closed on Monday.
Late on Sunday night, the gangrape victim's emotional father issued an appeal to the protesters to stop vandalism and help police in bringing the culprits to justice at the earliest. He also appealed to the people to pray for his daughter, who is fighting for her life at a city hospital.
"My daughter is stable now. She is conscious. I appeal to all to refrain from vandalism and help the police so that the process of capturing and sentencing the culprits is successful," he told a TV news channel.
He also said the fighting capacity in his daughter still remains the same. "The capability to live and fight on is still the same in my daughter. Please pray to god that my daughter recovers. Vandalism will do no good. I appeal to you don't cause any damage so that both you and I can carry on in peace. No words can describe how brave my girl is...," he said.
Among the injured were journalists and police officers including Joint Commissioner Taj Hassan, Addl Commissioner K C Dwivedi, Deputy Commissioner Bhola Shankar and Addl DCP Sanjay Tyagi. Police had to rescue Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's son and East Delhi MP Sandeep Diskhit after he was surrounded by protesters.
Women in the crowd complained they had been molested by "goons" who also attacked the police with stones and lathis. Constable Subhash Tomar was on ventilator support at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. While police said he had been beaten by protesters on Tilak Marg, doctors said he had suffered cardiac arrest and there were no visible injury marks.