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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Government's answer: Shut Delhi down

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 25, 2012
First Published: 00:35 IST(25/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:27 IST(25/12/2012)

At a time when every second counts, an ambulance carrying a critically ill boy had to be virtually driven around central Delhi so that the five-year-old could be taken for an MRI scan to a south Delhi clinic.

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The doctor and the ambulance driver had a torrid time finding a road which was not barricaded.

The boy did manage to reach the clinic but after much delay. Monday was the day when the police put a squeeze on Delhi's heart.

Central Delhi was a fortress, barricaded against public anger - over the gangrape of a 23-year-old woman, a "highhanded" police and an "indifferent government".

Police barriers sprung overnight at several points to guard weekend's warzones of India Gate, Raisina Hill and Vijay Chowk, where protesters, who Monday shifted base to Jantar Mantar, had clashed with the police.

Delhi Police personnel block a road in New Delhi. HT/Sunil Saxena


An unprecedented nine Metro stations - Pragati Maidan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road, Rajiv Chowk, Udyog Bhawan, Central Secretariat, Race Course Road, Patel Chowk and Khan Market - were shut, inconveniencing seven lakh commuters.

Endless delays and gridlocks were the order of the day. Tuesday is hardly going to be better. All traffic restrictions will continue, said the Delhi Police.

Though the nine stations were opened after 9pm on Monday, they will again be closed Tuesday morning, DMRC officials 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 in riot-gear.

The India Gate C Hexagon was blocked, so were all the roads leading to and from Vijay Chowk, causing massive jams near ITO, Mathura Road and Lutyens' Delhi.

Those with offices in buildings such as Rail Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, and Krishi Bhawan were asked to show their identity-cards at every checkpoint. Monday's protests were peaceful.

Various students and social outfits staged street plays, carried placards and shouted slogans as police kept a close watch.

The protesters said they wouldn't back down till a special session of Parliament was called to amend rape laws.

Some of them tried to march towards India Gate but the police sent them to Jantar Mantar.


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