At least 20 people, including a dozen policemen, were on Monday hurt in violence that broke out after the murder of a 40-year-old woman at Rana Pratap Bagh area near Model Town in north Delhi.
Two government-owned buses and two police vehicles were damaged by the rampaging mob. A senior police officer said that two station house officers of the district were injured in the violence.
The protesters who blocked the main Model Town-Subzi Mandi road for over two hours were furious after a rumour spread in the locality that the woman had been raped before she was murdered. An examination of the woman’s body, however, ruled out rape or sexual assault.
The body of the woman, Kamlesh, was found at Ramlila Park, CC Colony, on Sunday afternoon. She had been hit and her clothes were in disarray, something that sparked a rumour that she had been raped. She worked as a domestic help in the locality.
Sources claimed that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers joined the protesters later in the afternoon and became violent. Party leaders claimed on social networking websites that some of AAP volunteers and their Delhi Assembly election candidate from Model Town constituency, Akhileshpati Tripathi, were injured after a police baton charge.
AAP leaders used the social networking sites to request their party workers to assemble outside the Model Town police station and join the protest. They claimed that the gates of the Model Town Metro Station were closed by the police to stop AAP workers from reaching the protest venue.
Virender Singh Chahal, joint commissioner of police, northern range, told this correspondent that they had detained 18 people who were involved in the violence.
“We have registered a case of rioting, attacking government servants and damaging public property at the Model Town police station. All the 18 troublemakers were detained from the protest spot. We are in the process of identifying other protesters,” said Chahal.
Kamlesh lived with her unemployed husband and three children in slum clusters in the Rajpura area.