NEW DELHI:(BUREAU INDIAN BULLETIN) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday faced public rage when she was forced to return from Jantar Mantar where she went to take part in mourning the death of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim.
Dikshit reached Jantar Mantar, where around 500 people gathered for mourning the death of the girl at around 2 pm, but had to beat a hasty retreat as enraged protesters circled and forced her to return.
The Chief Minister and the police tried to reason with the protesters and allow her to be part of the gathering but the demonstrators were in no mood to oblige.
However before leaving Jantar Mantar, she lit a candle and prayed for the victim.
“I had gone there to express my grief at the death of the girl,” she told PTI when asked about her visit to Jantar Mantar.
“Do you want to politicise somebody’s death. Why didn’t she come when the protests first began? She even asked the police to remove us when we protested outside her residence,” a protester said.
Within minutes, she was escorted out of the area by the police.
People started gathering at Jantar Mantar here at around 10 am and sat in silence.
Aam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas had also joined the protest along with some of their supporters with their mouth tied with black cloth.
Earlier, anticipating protests following the death of the gang-rape victim, the Delhi Police on Saturday stepped up security in the Capital closing India Gate and Raisina Hill for the public besides 10 Metro stations.
A large number of police personnel were deployed at Rajpath, the stretch connecting India Gate and Raisina Hill where large-scale protests were witnessed last weekend, and roads leading to this was closed.
Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar last night tweeted, “praying hard for the rape victim will ensure accused are given severest punishment and quickly Reqst ppl to stay calm and maintain peace.”
A senior police official said the entire central Vista including Rajpath, Vijay Chowk and all roads leading to India Gate will be closed for general traffic.
“Kamal Attaturk Marg also closed. All travellers are advised to avoid these roads,” the official said.
Ten Metro stations in Central Delhi were closed down for an indefinite period, as a precautionary measure by Delhi Police to prevent protesters from reaching the India Gate.
The stations which will remain out of bounds for people are Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Jor Bagh and Khan Market.
However, inter-change facility will be available at Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat stations, DMRC officials said.
India Gate and Raisina Hill had witnessed violent protests against the gang-rape and police resorted to baton charge, water cannons and lobbing teargas shells to disperse protesters.
Police constable Subhash Tomar died last Sunday, during the violent protests.