As the tragic news of the demise of the 23-year old gangrape victim came in from Singapore early morning on Saturday, Delhi Police closed all roads leading towards India Gate and Raisina Hill anticipating protests that rocked the Capital last weekend.
Ten Metro stations, including Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat, Patel Chowk, Race Course, Khan Market, Jor Bagh, Udyog Bhawan, Mandi House, Barakhamba Road and Pragati Maidan, also remained closed since Saturday morning. However, inter-change facilities were available at Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat stations, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation officials said. After 7.40pm, entry was allowed at the Rajiv Chowk Metro station.
For updates on traffic situation and restrictions imposed, the Delhi traffic police had issued an advisory through social media — Twitter and Facebook—early on Saturday morning.
“We closed the entire Central Vista including Rajpath, Vijay Chowk and all roads leading to India Gate and Kemal Ataturk Marg were closed for general traffic for the whole day,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
However, the Delhi police's speculation proved wrong as thousands of protesters chose a peaceful way to protest at Jantar Mantar, making it almost a no task for police to control the mob. "No one tried to break barricades and no rule was imposed," said a traffic police officer.
“There was minor congestion on Mathura Road and some other roads due to restrictions imposed on some major arterial roads in New Delhi area. But the situation was quite under control as it was Saturday and many offices were closed,” said Garg.
He said roads might be closed on Sunday morning also. “We will take a call after analysing the situation,” Garg added. Metro stations are also likely to remain closed on Sunday, said officials.
Very few vehicles were seen on roads as it was a Saturday and also many preferred to mourn the death of 23-year old 'India's brave heart' by giving their respective workplaces a miss.
Traffic restrictions were removed from all roads at 9 pm but barricades would be put up again early Sunday morning.
Last weekend, the anti-rape protests in Delhi turned violent and police used tear gas, water cannons and batons to combat protesters. An injured constable died on Tuesday.