Delhi gangrape protests: Reactions, developments, updates
Curfew at Vijay Chowk
It's the morning after the police crackdown on the anti-rape protesters at India Gate. The government has apologised for it, but says that it cannot allow protests at India Gate. Adamant protesters, however, have said that they will be back. Read more on that here.
As a precautionary measure, nine metro stations around India Gate, namely Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Khan Market, Race Course, Rajiv Chowk and Barakhamba will be shut today.
Media vans removed from India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan
All media vans have been removed from the two locations and the policemen have told the media that they could not assemble there as Section 144 was in place. All the roads leading to India Gate have also been heavily barricaded.
Shinde vows action in one-month
In an interview to CNN-IBN, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde says panel solution to the Delhi gangrape case will be given in one-month. He also said that senior police officials are also coming under suspension. He said that there was no need of special Parliament session, however, government will not stay 'silent' on the issue.
Demonstrating what the government has done after the gangrape incident, Shinde said, "All four accused were arrested the morning after the incident. We announced we will take it to fast-tracks, also announced stricter laws will be followed. We also announced a panel yesterday including eminent people to solve within one month. We will inquire and book them. We will not leave it like that. Panel solution will be given in one-month."
"You will see what we will do and you will realise what we have managed to do."
He also said that force was used to stop protesters from entering press house. "The Delhi protesters were throwing stones at police and were damaging public property at India Gate during yesterday's protest."
Tomorrow 100 Adivasis will be killed, can the government go there, asks Shinde
However, Shinde refused to apologise for the police action. He said, "I feel bad, why you want particular word on that?"
When asked why he has not met the protesters, he said, "Tomorrow Maoists may demonstrate I cannot go and meet them. Tomorrow 100 adivasis will be killed, can the government go there? "
Shinde said he had met protesters in his house, and that should have satisfied them. Replying to Rajdeep Sardesai, Shinde said, "Mr Sardesai it is easy to talk in this way, you can say that HM should go to India Gate. But can he?"
"In country in many places rapes are happening, the government has taken note. On 4 January a meeting of Chief Secys and DGPs will happen. "
Singh says that the anger over the incident is justified but violence isn't
"We are all joined in our concern for the young woman who was the victim of a heinous crime In Delhi," Singh said.
"There is genuine and justified anger and anguish at this ghastly incident. We are constantly monitoring her medical condition. Let us all pray for her and her loved ones during this critical time," he said.
"I feel deeply sad at the turn of events leading to clashes between protesters and police forces. I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm," the Prime Minister said.
"I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure security and safety to all women in this country. I seek the cooperation of all sections of the society to help us in this endeavour and maintain peace," he said.
Is the protest more about misgovernance than the handling of this particular case
Firstpost's Anant Rangaswami points out that in these protests, the political class seems clueless about the protests since they are genuine and aren't purely about this case. It's about a larger malaise affecting the nation's governance. He says:
It’s just that politicians, so unused to listening to (or even acknowledging) the vox populi, the Delhi outrage against the horrific rape has caught the political classes flat-footed, without an answer.
Make no mistake about the current manifestation of the peoples’ anger – this is not just about rape, as they simplistically, foolishly and dangerously view it.
This is about the anger of people of India (non-voters included, which makes it so difficualt for the political classes to deal with it) about the way they have been taken for a ride decade after decade in state after state.
Read more here
Protests taking place at Rajiv Chowk
A group of protesters has gathered at Rajiv Chowk to continue seeking justice for the 23-year-old student and action to tackle crime against women.
The protests are milder compared to yesterday, but there are multiple locations at the city where minor protests are being staged.
BJP core group to meet to decide how to handle protests
The BJP core group is meeting today to discuss what to do with regards to the protests in the city. According to an NDTV report, the party doesn't want to be seen as opportunistic.
Firstpost's Danish Raza reports that the major protests in the national capital are centred at Jantar Mantar with around 200 protesters at the venue. There are small protests being held at other locations as well.
Delhi's Lt Gen Tejender Khanna returns from US
Delhi's Lt Governor Tejender Khanna has cut short his US visit following a communication
from the government and will today hold a meeting with top police brass to take "tough decisions" including possible suspension of certain officials responsible for security.
Khanna, who returned to the city last night, has already given instructions to Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar in the wake of violent protests on Sunday at India Gate and Rajpath over the rape of a 23-year-old.
Sources said Khanna, who was on a personal visit to the US cut short his stay following a communication from the Union Home Ministry in view of the volatile situation in the capital, and returned last night.
A smiling Sushilkumar Shinde told NDTV that he had merely inquired about Khanna's location and the official had chosen to return.
He held meetings with a number of women groups this morning and assured them all necessary steps to instill confidence among women, which had been shaken following last
Sunday's brutal rape in a moving bus here, will be taken.
Khanna has also invited for talks a number of student leaders who are involved in the ongoing protests.
Health update: Victim critical, but stable
After undergoing a small operation, the 23-year-old gang-rape victim's condition was today critical but stable as doctors continued to monitor her health. Doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital here said the girl is stable but critical and is sometimes on ventilator. She underwent a "small operation" yesterday after medical examination suggested fluid collection in her abdomen.
The victim's platelet count has been fluctuating since Saturday and it stood at a low 19,000 during the last observation yesterday. Normal platelet count in a healthy individual is between 150,000 and 450,000 per micro-litre of blood.
The doctors said sepsis, a severe blood infection that can lead to organ failure, is one of their major concerns and noted that the bilirubin level of the victim has increased to 6.3.
The paramedical student, who was gangraped last Sunday night in a moving bus here, was also administered another four bottles of platelet-rich plasma. The girl is also suffering from high fever, the doctors said. PTI
Kejriwal calls Shinde's comment on Delhi protests 'unfortunate'
Social activist and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal called Shinde's statement irresponsible and unfortunate. "Very very irresponsible statement and shows the insensitivity of the government. Also very unfortunate that it is coming from the Home Minister of India."
Delhi HC to set up fast-track courts after winter vacation
In a major step towards fast-tracking rape trials, the Delhi high court today said that the fast-track courts will be set up immediately after the winter vacation. The court also directed all lower court judges handling cases of sexual assault on women in the Capital to hold day-to-day hearings.
More students arrive at Jantar Mantar, seek fast track courts to handle crimes against women
Firstpost's Danish Raza reports that around 100 students from the All India Students' Association have reached Jantar Mantar and they have three demands:
1. Gender sensitive policing
2. Special Parliament session
3. Fast track courts
Ministry of Home Affairs officials say that trial in rape case to begin on 3 January
CNN-IBN reports that the trial in the Delhi gangrape case will begin from 3 January and will be done on a day to day basis.
In fact they say that all cases of crimes against women will be heard on a day to day basis.
Why this couldn't have been decided earlier is something that no one's explaining though. Will it stop the protests? Lets wait and see.
Amitabh Bachchan declares protests a victory of the youth
In a post on his Facebook page, the actor declared: "The students and the youth have won ... salutations to them all for waking up the system !!"
Hear the full audio post here
Cop Subhash Tomar who was injured in Delhi Protests critical
Subhash Tomar, the Delhi police constable posted at east Delhi's Karawal Nagar police station, who suffered injuries during the protests is critical now, say doctors.
At least 143 people, including 78 policemen, were injured after a mass protest at India Gate in support of the 16 December gangrape victim turned violent on Sunday. Among the injured were four Indian Police Service officers - Joint Commissioner of Police Taj Hassan, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Tyagi, Deputy Commissioner of Police Bhola Shankar and Additional Commissioner of Police KC Dwivedi.
Disappointed with the way the government has dealt with this case: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj
The BJP has demanded an all-party meet to discuss the issue. Swaraj says they want a special session of the Parliament to discuss the case and laws that deal with protecting women. Senior BJP leaders will also meet the President tomorrow over this case.
Swaraj was also critical of the force used by the Police against the protesters at India Gate.
Shinde-speak shows all that is wrong with government
A few things that Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said today, tells us clearly what is wrong with the approach of the Indian government to the recent public protests in Delhi against the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman. Read Firstpost columnist Vivek Kaul's piece here.
Doctors speaking about survivors condition say her condition has worsened, mentally alert
Doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital say that the rape survivor's condition has worsened since Saturday due to internal sepsis and there was bleeding yesterday.
"The positive factor is that the patient is able to breathe normally. She is conscious and is communicating," a doctor said.
"She is still in danger. We cannot say she is out of danger. Monitoring and management is underway," the doctor said.
Doctors say rape survivor's condition worsened due to internal sepsis but said that in spite of her medical condition she is relatively composed.
The doctors said they had carried out a mental examination of the girl and her parents and had counselled them about the event.
Delhi's Lieutenant General says many steps will be taken to make women feel safer
Lieutenant General Tejender Khanna called for a press conference where the first thing done was a brief prayer. After that he announced that two police officials have been suspended and one official has been ordered to offer an explanation, failing which the official would also be suspended.
He denied reports that he had been summoned back to India and said he had been in the US when he took it upon himself to return to the country given the situation in Delhi.
"There is no truth in reports that I was summoned back to the country. It was a personal decision to return. I thought the situation merited my returning to the country," he said.
He announced that a police official would deal with women's rights groups in the city on a monthly basis and would help formulate plans to keep women safe in the city.
"We have mandated that when a woman goes with a complaint to a police station then every offence must be recorded," he said.
Anti-social elements made the protest the violent, says Neeraj Kumar
"We will arrest the anti-social elements who had hijacked the protest. We have the entire process, the progress of the demonstration, videographed. We will identify the trouble-makers and arrest them," Kumar tells CNN IBN editor Rajdeep Sardesai.
'Police did not attack media, it was collateral damage'
"The situation was not mishandled by us. If some of the media cameras were broken, that was collateral damage. When there is a police crackdown, such things happen. Also, it has to be seen whether the police broke media cameras or the anti-socials," says Kumar.
"I am not stepping down, there is no pressure on me," says Neeraj Kumar.
Kumar, in a defiant attempt to defend his force, says that he was right in congratulating his force. "We cracked the case very quickly, we rounded up all the accused and I have rightly congratulated my men for their efforts. I have got many sms-es and messages saying good things about how we have handled the case," says Kumar.
Kumar also went to accuse the media of 'fuelling the violence'.
"The freedom to protest is always there. However, you cannot protest at a site where Section 144 has been imposed. You cannot protest at a place where preparations for 26 January is going on. You cannot protest at a place where the head of a foreign state is visiting the next day," he says, adding that criticising the police or the system will not make Delhi a safer place.
"You can sack one police commissioner a day, but that will make the country safer. We have to sit down together and make efforts together," says Kumar.
"I don't apologise for the action the police took, it was necessary," says Kumar.
At the end of a long interview with the CNN-IBN, Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar declared that his force did not intend to hurt any innocent, peaceful protester. "I apologise if any innocent was hurt in yesterday's action. But I don't apologise for the decisions the police took on the ground," he says.
Police clash with protesters again at Jantar Mantar
Right after the commissioner defended his force, reports came in that the police had clashed with protesters again. However, no baton was used on them. Two protesters were detained and taken to the Parliament Street police station.
Constable injured during Sunday’s protest at India Gate dies
A Delhi police constable, who was severely beaten up near India Gate by protesters on Sunday, passed away this morning. Subhash Chand, posted at Karawal Nagar police station, was deployed on Law and Order duty. Chand sustained serious injuries in the protests and was put on ventilator.
Protesters say no to Christmas holiday
Anti-rape protesters in Delhi promise to continue their agitation today, fighting for women's safety. They said there's no Christmas holiday for them as their fight will continue.
Earlier on Monday, activists of several women's organisations petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee demanding action against Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar and other officials in the wake of the gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in Delhi.
They also demanded setting up of fast-track courts to deal with pending cases of sexual assault. A delegation, led by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, met Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan and handed over a memorandum to him in this regard.
Can they return my father back, asks cop's son
Constable Tomar's relatives have blamed the protesters for his death and has appealed for peace. "No politician came to visit my father in the hospital. The public is responsible for his death.He was brutally beaten. Can they return my father back?," asked a sobbing Tomar's son.
"Its the mob which is responsible for his death," said his brother.
Asked what they are expecting from the police department and the government, Tomar's son said, "Why would they listen to us? We are no one."
However, he appealed for peace and said the protesters must maintain calm.
Murder case registered in constable Tomar's death incident
A case had been registered in the constable Tomar's case in the Tilak Marg police station. The police say they have a video clip of the men who injured the constable and the case will be treated as a murder case. Police also have photos that a journalist took.
Tomar was lathi charging protestors when protestors attacked him, threw him to the ground and beat him up.
FIR narrates sequences of events but doesn't name anyone.
Tomar's death puts Aam Aadmi Party under scrutiny
Police say eight people were arrested on Monday in connection with the injury of the constable and were booked for rioting and attempt to murder. All of them were give bail after a bail bond submitted by Aam Aadmi Party member Manish Sisodia. One of those who were arrested has been identified as Chaman Kumar of AAP. This puts the Aam Aadmi Party under scrutiny.
Minister of State for Home RPN Singh appeals for calm
After the news of constable Tomar's death, Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said a true homage to Constable Subhash Tomar would be to maintain calm in the city. "Condolences from my side and the government's side to Constable Subhash Tomar's family," he said.
On Monday, Singh had apologised to those who were injured during the clashes but said the police action came due to the violence perpetrated by "lumpen elements". Singh said there was no reason for the students to continue the protests as government accepted all their demands including putting the case in a fast track court and carrying out day-to-day hearing.
Aam Aadmi Party to hold press conference at 2 pm.
Firstpost reporter Danish Raza reports that Aam Admi Party will hold a press conference at 2pm over the alleged involvement of AAP volunteer Chaman Kumar in the death of Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar. Kumar, 38, is a resident of Tilak Nagar area in Delhi.
Tomar was attacked during the anti- rape protests at Vijay Chowk. He succumbed to injuries today morning.
Reactions to constable Tomar's death:
And we need to mourn the death of Constable Tomar as much as we decry the gangrape.Anger makes sense,but violence&death as an answer doesn't— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) December 25, 2012
Those saying Constable Subhash Tomar deserved to die, here's hoping someone says the same thing when one of your loved ones is no more.— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) December 25, 2012
Subhash Tomar so didn't deserve to die, I feel so ashamed of such protests that takes lives. Cops continue to do world's most thankless job— The PoliticsPedia (@PoliticsPedia) December 25, 2012
Sheila Dikshit asks Shinde to probe top cops' interference during victim's statement recording
A controversy has erupted over the recording of the statement of the 23-year-old gangrape victim with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit complaining to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that senior police officials "interfered" in the process even as she sought a high-level inquiry into it.
In a letter to Shinde, Dikshit cited a communication to her by Deputy Commissioner (East) B M Mishra that Sub Divisional Magistrate Usha Chaturvedi had complained about senior police officials' interference while she was recording the statement of the victim who was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus on 16 December.
In the complaint, they said, the SDM said that the officers had prevented the video recording of the victim's statement. It was also alleged that the police officers wanted the SDM to use a questionnaire they prepared.
When she refused to do so, sources said, police officials misbehaved with the SDM.
Police denied the allegations levelled by the SDM and claimed that it was the mother of the victim who insisted that the testimony should not be videographed.
Police sources said the three officers named by the SDM were not in the hospital room when the victim recorded her statement and that the magistrate was free to ask the student any questions she wanted.
Rape victim's condition continues to be critical: Doctors
The 23-year-old gang-rape victim continues to be critical and she remains on ventilator
support, doctors said today.
Doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital, where she was rushed to after being raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus on 16 December, had yesterday said her condition was "very
serious and very critical". Her condition continues to be critical today as well, they said.
On Monday, the victim had shown some tendency for internal bleeding but her platelet count has increased to 70,000 from Sunday's 19,000. A normal platelet count in a healthy individual is between 150,000 and 450,000 per micro-litre of blood.
Doctors say the bleeding which is because of sepsis, a severe blood infection that can lead to organ failure, remains a cause of "major concern" as far as the girl's health is concerned. PTI
Congress core group has reportedly summoned Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over Delhi gangrape incident
Cong Core Grp has "summoned" home minister..apparently high command is not happywith the political management of the crisis..— Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha (@Mrityunjoykjha) December 25, 2012
Aam Aadmi Party defends its worker
Arvind Kejriwal came to the defence of his party, one of whose workers has been held responsible for the death of constable Tomar. He said that the police was turning the heat on the party to cover up their own failures, their inability to identify the hooligans who were a part of the mob. "The eight people who they have rounded up are innocent. They have no concrete evidence against them," said Kejriwal.
"The government is taking out their frustration on us," says Kejriwal
"They are accusing us that we sparked violence. We sparked violence? For the past one and half years we are the ones who are leading a movement which has stood out for how peaceful it is. If the government is trying to destroy the futures of our youth like this, we will not let it happen," warns Kejriwal.
Delhi CM Sheila Dixit at constable Tomar's funeral
Senior Congress leaders, minister Ajit Singh, minister of state RPN Singh and Delhi CM Sheila Dixit attends constable Tomar's funeral in Delhi. However, despite the huge crowd, the senior police officers and political leaders at the funeral, the deceased's family remains inconsolable. In fact, Tomar's son told CNN IBN that there's no point of these dignitaries turning up now after his father has died. "No one came to enquire about him when he was fighting for his life in the hospital," says Tomar's son.
Constable Subhash Tomar will be cremated with full police honours
Constable Subhash Tomar will be cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat in Delhi with full police honours. He is survived by his wife and three children. According to a CNN IBN report, Tomar's post-mortem revealed serious injuries to his neck, abdomen and head.
Commissioner of Delhi Police Neeraj Kumar, who had defended police action on the protesters yesterday is seen giving a shoulder to Tomar's hearse.
All Delhi Police personnel have decided to donate a day's salary to make sure that Tomar's family don't run into financial difficulties after his death. Tomar was the sole breadwinner in the family of five.
Tomar hailed from Meerut, UP and came from a family of policemen. Several of his cousins too work for the police force.
23-year-old victim better then yesterday, though still critical
Though the gangrape victim is still on ventilator support, the intensity of the support has been reduced. "Her platelet count has gone up. But she still can't breathe completely on her own, so we have to keep her on ventilator," said the doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital. There has been a significant decrease in internal bleeding.
The resident psychologist said that the victim could talk through gestures and is more or less stable. "Despite knowing that she is in a physically precarious condition, she is coping well," he said.
Delhi Police will recruit one person from Tomar's family on compassionate grounds
In a press conference following Tomar's funeral, the commissioner of Delhi Police announced a slew of benefits for the family of the deceased. He also appealed to the general public that if they wanted to make contributions to the family, they can, through the headquarters of the Delhi Police.
Update: Delhi Police did not interfere with the SDM's work, says Delhi CP
The Delhi Police Commissioner denied CM Sheila Dikshit's charges that the police interfered with the process of the SDM recording the victim's statement. "We never gave her questions. In fact we had requested for a woman SDM so that the victim and her parents are not inconvenienced. However, the victim's mother refused to be videographed. Our personnel had escorted her to the hospital and had she felt any discrepancy in the procedure she could have complained. But she didn't right away," said Kumar.
'This is not the first time we had a problem with this particular SDM. We had problems with her even during the Koda colony riots case. She has a penchant for creating trouble," said Kumar.
On why a new statement was being recorded, the second time, Kumar said that the Delhi Police had feared that the victim might not pull through and it was important to record a last statement to nail the accused. "We suspected, from the victim's condition, that she might not make it. In such situations we take something called a 'dying statement', something that is only recorded by a SDM. That is why we requested that the victim's statement be recorded once more," said Kumar.
Five Delhi Metro stations reopened
After being shut for three days, five of the nine Delhi Metro stations were opened on Tuesday evening, an official said.
"Five metro stations - Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road and Khan Market - have been opened since 5 p.m. Four other metro stations - Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, and Race Course - remain closed," a Metro official said.
Delhi Metro shut the nine stations on the request of Delhi Police who wanted to prevent people protesting against the brutal gang-rape of a young woman Dec 16 from reaching the city centre.
The closure of the Metro stations - particularly Rajiv Chowk - the capital's busiest - for three days, had inconvenienced thousands across the city.
"Metro trains are halting at Central Secretariat to enable passengers to switch trains. But at the other four stations, they are not halting," a Metro official said.
Both Rajiv Chowk in Connaught Place and Central Secretariat are also interchange stations.
The Delhi Metro lost more than 200,000 passengers over the last three days due to the closure.
"For the three days we have recorded a dip in footfalls," Delhi Metro spokesman Anuj Dayal told IANS.
But while passenger traffic didn't fall steeply Saturday and Sunday, it plunged from the usual 16 lakh to 14.22 lakh Monday, he said.
Delhi Metro, the city's lifeline, daily ferries nearly 1.8 million passengers in 2,700 trips.
Cops should deal matter with sensitivity: Cong after core group meet
The Congress Core Group today reviewed the situation in New Delhi in the wake of protests
over the gang-rape incident, emphasising that the police should deal with the matter with sensitivity while there should be no room for violence.
The two-and-a-half hour long meeting at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Gandhi's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath were special invitees.
The meeting noted that there was calm in the streets of Delhi. Sources said the meeting was apprised of the fact that the Government has requested the protesting student organisations and other groups to send their suggestions to the J S Verma Committee set up to rewrite the rape laws.