In view of the incidents in the last two-three days there is heavy deployment of police who have blocked roads leading to India Gate and Raisina Hill
New Delhi: The capital on Monday turned into a fortress a day after violent protests rocked India Gate which was kept out of bounds for people but protests continued in the city which witnessed traffic mess hassling office goers, students and others, reports PTI.
As the outrage continued over the 16th December gangrape of a 23-year-old student, police said charge sheet will be filed "within a week" in the case even as two Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) were suspended and explanations sought from two DCPs on why the crime could not be prevented.
In a fresh appeal for peace, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured that government will look into delay in response in the gangrape case as also all aspects concerning the security of women while asking people to desist from violence.
Cutting short his visit to the US, Delhi Lt Governor Tejinder Khanna returned to the capital and held discussions with senior police officials and women's groups to chalk out a plan for improving safety of women in the capital.
"We have suspended two ACPs Mohan Singh Dabas (Traffic) and Yagram (PCR). I have instructed the Police Commissioner to seek explanation from DCPs Premnath (Traffic) and Satbir Kataria (PCR) and will decide on further action after that," he told reporters.
The condition of the victim has deteriorated and she remained in a critical condition at Safdarjung Hospital, doctors said. "She is still in a critical condition and not out of danger," doctors said.
Security personnel kept Rajpath, the stretch linking India Gate and Raisina Hill leading to Rashtrapati Bhavan, locked down with barricades and heavy deployment of personnel with riot-gear besides disallowing traffic on Rajpath and closing down nine Delhi Metro stations.
It was chaos on roads as police restricted vehicular movement around India Gate leading to huge traffic jams in central Delhi, including near ITO, Mathura Road and roads leading to the VIP areas.
At Jantar Mantar, a number of protesters gathered to demand speedy punishment for the criminals involved in the gangrape but no violence was reported.
Today's protests appeared muted as police did not allow anybody to reach near India Gate or Raisina Hill, which saw pitched battles between security forces and protesters yesterday leaving around 150 injured from both sides. There were also small protests near Safdarjung Hospital, where the rape victim is undergoing treatment.
With regard to violence during protests yesterday, police have registered four cases, including one against former Army Chief VK Singh and yoga guru Ramdev on charges of rioting and damage to public property.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that certain "political elements" were behind yesterday's violence at India Gate and its surrounding areas. "We have information that some political elements were behind the violence. We are enquiring into it," he said.
In his televised address, the Prime Minister said he and his family join in the concern for the victim, who was gangraped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi.
"As a father of three daughters myself, I feel as strongly about this as each one of you," Singh said adding the government was constantly monitoring her medical condition.
Emphasising that anger at this crime is "justified", he said, "but violence will serve no purpose...We will examine into delay not only the responses to this terrible crime but also all aspects concerning the safety and security of women."
BJP slammed the government for turning down its suggestion of convening a special Parliament session to make a tougher law on crime against women and said it will raise the issue with President Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said it is regrettable that government "does not want to talk" to the Opposition or the protesters.
Thousands of commuters were stranded at major intersections due to massive traffic jams as several roads and nine Metro stations were shut down to prevent the protesters from reaching India Gate and Raisina Hill.
ITO Bridge, one of the major connections in the capital, was clogged with vehicles since morning hours and the chaos only aggravated as the day progressed with people having to wait patiently for hours.
There was traffic chaos at Pragati Maidan, Nizamuddin Bridge, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, Mother Teresa Cresent Road, Mathura Road, Khan Market, Mandi House and Barakhamba Road, besides other major sections.
If so, we may see a minimum of 5% decline from last week’s high
The continuing impasse in the US over the budget deal was seen as the main reason for the Indian market ending lower this week. Even positive news like the clearance of the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill by the Parliament, which paves the way for setting up of new banks, was brushed aside by investors. Focus will shift on the US events next week, while the domestic market may see a fair bit of volatility on account of the expiry of the December month F&O contract.
The Sensex settled 75 points (0.39%) lower at 19,242 and the Nifty closed the week at 5,848, a cut of 32 points (0.54%). If the fall continues then we may see a minimum of 5% decline from last week’s high.
Nervousness ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) mid-quarter policy review saw the market closing lower on Monday. On Tuesday the benchmarks brushed the status quo maintained by the RBI on the interest rates and closed slightly off the day’s highs on all-round buying support. The market ended in the green on Wednesday on optimism from Indian parliamentarians on the government’s reforms and positive global cues.
The market settled marginally lower on Thursday on weak global cues and a sell-off in consumer durables, auto and capital goods stocks. Weak global cues saw an across-the-board sell-off which led the market lower on Friday.
BSE Metal (up 4%) and BSE Healthcare (up 1%) were the best performing sectors in the week while BSE Capital Goods and BSE Consumer Durables (down 2% each) were the top losers.
Among Sensex stocks Tata Motors, Hindalco Industries (up 8% each), Jindal Steel & Power (up 6%), Cipla (up 4%) and Sterlite Industries (up 3%) were the chief gainers. The major losers were Larsen & Toubro, HDFC, ITC (down 3% each), Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank (down 2% each)
The Nifty gainers were led by Tata Steel, Hindalco Ind (up 8% each), Jindal Steel (up 5%), Cipla and Sesa Goa (up 4% each). The main losers on the index were Jaiprakash Associates (down 5%), Cairn India (down 4%), Ambuja Cements, Siemens and ITC (down 3% each).
Key domestic events in the week
The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill which was cleared by both Houses of Parliament this week gives power to the RBI to issue new banking licences. It also seeks to increase voting rights of investors in the private sector banks to 26% from the existing 10%. Shareholders’ voting rights in the public sector banks is capped at 10%.
The Companies Bill, 2012, was passed by the Lok Sabha on 18th December and by the Rajya Sabha on 20th December. The Bill aims to protect interest of employees and small investors while encouraging firms to undertake social welfare voluntarily instead of imposing that through “inspector raj”.
The RBI on Tuesday decided to keep key interest rates unchanged but provided sufficient hints that it would reduce them in January, giving some comfort to industry and banks which have been clamouring for a rate cut for quite some time. The central bank left the short-term lending (repo) rate and the cash reserve ratio—the amount of deposits banks have to park with RBI—unchanged at 8% and 4.25%, respectively.
On the global front, differences between the White House and the Republicans on the budget issue, if not resolved, could push the US into a recession. However, investors are still hoping that policymakers would come up with a solution with president Obama late Friday asked that Congress return next week to consider a scaled back plan that would prevent taxes from going up on all but the top 2%.
Repeated resort to firing of shells and water jets failed to dampen the spirit of several hundreds of young students, both girls and boys, as they tried to breach the police barricades to march towards Rashtrapati Bhavan for the second day protesting against the government and police "inaction"
New Delhi: Several rounds of teargas shells and water cannons were used as young students demanding justice for the 23-year-old gangrape victim clashed with police at the Raisina Hill, the seat of power, reports PTI.
Repeated resort to firing of shells and water jets failed to dampen the spirit of several hundreds of young students, both girls and boys, as they tried to breach the police barricades to march towards Rashtrapati Bhavan for the second day protesting against the government and police "inaction".
Former Army Chief Gen VK Singh lent supporters to the protesters when he joined them at the India Gate and blamed the "systemic collapse" for the brutal rape of the young girl in a moving bus last Sunday.
Some people were removed by police and detained as the situation threatened to go out of hand. A boy and a girl and a traffic policeman were injured in the melee when protesters threw stones, shoes and missiles in which police vehicles and buses were damaged.
Tear gas shells and water failed to deter the protesters who refused to vacate the area that houses the North and South Blocks including the Prime Minister's office and turned the area into a virtual battleground.
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 failed 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 from early in the 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.