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Delhi anti-rape protests: As it happened

Updated: December 22, 2012, 11:21 AM IST
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Delhi anti-rape protests: As it happened
Sources said that Sonia Gandhi had urged the government to take strongest action against the Delhi gangrape accused.

New Delhi: 9.00 pm: Government suspends eight policemen for dereliction of duty.

8.15 pm Sushil Kumar Shinde while addressing a press conference said that the government 'will see if the existing rape laws can be enhanced'.

8.00 pm: Meira Kumar says that the mindsets of the people needs to be changed for the safety of women. Meanwhile, sources say that action will be taken against the policemen who were on duty at the checkposts that the bus crossed on the fateful night.

7.48 pm: Sources say the government may amend rape law and introduce death penalty.

7.00 pm: Sources say that Sonia Gandhi has told the government to take the strongest action possible against the Delhi gangrape accused. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the government was working towards making a new law that will act as a deterrant.

6.49 pm: Delhi Police issues statement, says it shares the intense grief and distress of the people. It adds that it is committed to making the roads safer for the people. Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is expected to issue a statement shortly.

6.31 pm: Protesters at India Gate say that the 23-year-old physiotherapist is their youth icon and 'not Rahul Gandhi'. They add that they will continue to fight for her cause just like the victim herself has been battling the trauma.

6.07 pm: Candlelight vigil begins at India Gate. Protesters carry banners decrying the gruesome gangrape incident and demand justice for the 23-year-old victim.

5.52 pm: Congress MP Priya Dutt says that young MPs should have tried to engage with the protesters before they turned violent.

5.35 pm: Protests turn violent at Raisina Hill. Protesters damage a DTC bus and pelt stones at policemen.

5.28 pm: MoS PMO V Narayanaswamy says: "Police and the government are showing restraint, but if the protestors resort to lawlessness then force has to be used..."

5.19 pm: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj calls for special Parliament session for the framing of new laws on women's safety. She demands that the new laws should accord death penalty to those accused of crimes against women.

4.11 pm: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde briefs Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the prevailing situation in Delhi. The Prime Minister asks him to ensure people feel safe.

3:30 pm: As anti-rape protests intensified in Delhi, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the current situation.

3:08 pm: The police fired tear gas shells for the third time as protesters tried to break barricades outside the Rashtrapati Bhawan. However, the protests at India Gate continued to be peaceful with people performing street plays and giving suggestions like CCTV recording while filing FIRs in police station.

2:40 pm: Anti-rape protests at India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan turned violent. Thirteen protesters were injured, of which nine were taken to RML hospital and four to LNJP hospital. Most of the protesters have suffered minor head injuries.

2:09 pm: As more people joined the protests at India gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan, many protesters questioned as to where was Congress's 'youth leader' Rahul Gandhi now. Some of the slogans raised at India Gate also said, "Don't teach your daughters what to wear, teach your sons how to behave."

1:50 pm: Hundreds of people continued to join the protests at India Gate as well as Rashtrapati Bhawan even after the police used tear gas shells, water cannons and lathicharge to disperse crowd.

Women protesters talking to IBN 18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai demanded proper security and concrete measures to ensure that they can be safe in Delhi. One of the women protesters said that she did not feel safe even while going to the police to lodge any complaint.

1:00 pm:

12:47 pm: The police once again lathicharged the protesters when they tried to break barricades outside the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

12:40 pm: The 23-year-old medical student who was gangraped in Delhi spoke to the sub-divisional magistrate and gave her statement. Her statement is now admissible in the court.

12:05 pm: Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh said that the protesters needed to calm down so that a dialogue from a government representative could happen in an orderly manner. Speaking to CNN-IBN, RPN Singh said, "The protesters need to calm down, only then can a dialogue happen from the government's side in an orderly manner. We can't let the protesters break barricades and run into government property. The government has taken its stance that it will demand the harshest punishment for the rapists."

11:55 am: Anti-rape protesters returned outside the Rashtrapati Bhawan even after the police fired water cannons and lathicharged them. Some of the protesters stepped on top of the buses of the Delhi Police and shouted slogans demanding justice for the 23-year-old medical student who was gangraped in Delhi.

11:25 am: The police used water cannons to disperse large numbers of anti-rape protesters outside Rahtrapati Bhawan as people raised slogans demanding justice for the 23-year-old medical student who was gangraped in Delhi on December 16. The police also fired tear gas shells and lathicharged the protesters.

10:14 am: There were people present in large numbers at both India Gate and the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The protesters marched from India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhawan demanding justice for the 23-year-old medical student who was brutally raped in Delhi on December 16.

9:10 am: The anger after the horrific gangrape of a 23-year-old medical student has intensified on the streets. Protesters gathered in large numbers at India Gate on Saturday morning and shouted 'We Want Justice' slogans.

The 23-year-old medical student who was brutally gangraped in Delhi on December 16 continues to be in a critical condition even as she is off ventilator support now. As the victim battles for life, there's more anger across the country against rapes and protests have intensified. Major protests have been planned for Saturday across parts of Delhi.

Protests were held on Friday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence and India Gate. In fact a few people were also detained outside Congress President Sonia Gandhi's residence too.

A group of 100 women protesters demonstrated outside the Rashtrapati Bhawan. They attempted to break the security cordon and enter the premises, chanting slogans against the lax law and order situation in the capital. Women constables had to be called in to rein in the protesters. The protesters were joined by some school students and even foreign nationals.

"The accused should be given harsh punishment. Such incidents should not be repeated in India ever again," said one woman protester. "We wanted immediate justice but nothing has been done yet. We want India to be a safe zone for women," said another.

Left leader D Raja joined protests at India Gate on Friday. He said, "It's not the time to point fingers at one party. It is our collective responsibility to make women in our country safer and go for the culprits."

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party also protested at Jantar Mantar on Friday. Lashing out at political parties, Arvind Kejriwal said that no justice could be expected from them as they themselves gave tickets to criminals and many of them even had rape charges against them. "We need a strong law and sufficient number of courts", to tackle the menace, he added.

People have been invited to join the protests through social networking website. Following are some protests being carried out across Delhi:

December 22, 2012:

9 am: Protests at India Gate, people invited through social media websites.

11:00 am: Protest called 'Let's Unite - Fight Back' to be held at India Gate

1:00 pm: Protest called 'Hang Them or Hang Us' to be held at India Gate

December 23, 2012:

9:00 am: Protest called 'Voice for safety' at India Gate.

December 25, 2012:

11:45 pm to 2 am: Midnight protest called 'ReBirth: Society Rises Midnight' at India Gate.

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First Published: December 22, 2012, 11:21 AM IST
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