Mangolpuri remained tense on Friday as locals clashed with the police after a seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by an unknown man, allegedly on the premises of Nigam Pratibha Vidyalaya, a north municipal corporation-run school.
Agitated residents pelted stones at police personnel near the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in the afternoon. More than a dozen people, including four policemen, were injured and as many as 10 vehicles, including three AC and non-AC low-floor DTC buses and police vehicles, were damaged in the violence.
The mob went berserk after entering the hospital premises. They created ruckus and looted some eateries.
Some agitators broke window panes of the hospital's ICU when five critical patients were inside. Hospital employees claimed that the protesters misbehaved with them and even barged into the wards.
Several patients were pulled down from their beds while their attendants were manhandled by the protesters. The situation was brought under control after extra companies of police force were called in at the spot.
The police said violence erupted in the area after a rumour spread that the victim had died. Despite assurances by senior police officers that the girl was alive and safe, the agitated mob did not relent. The police even produced the girl before her neighours to make protesters believe that the news about her death was incorrect.
But when all efforts to calm them down failed, the police resorted to three-four rounds of mild lathicharge on the mob. Tension continued in the area till Friday night and several small incidents of stone pelting and lathicharge continued till the filing of the report.
A similar chaos was seen at the primary school in the morning. A case of sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act has been registered in the matter. A separate case of rioting and damaging public property was registered and over a dozen people have been arrested.