A group of protesters, allegedly owing allegiance to BJP's student wing ABVP, on Sunday clashed with police at Jantar Mantar during a demonstration demanding speedy punishment for the rapists of the girl who died after battling for life.
The hitherto peaceful protest turned violent at around 1pm when a group among the protesters carrying flags and banners of ABVP tried to take out a march from Jantar Mantar to Connaught Place but police prevented them from moving ahead, following which the clash erupted.
While one group went ahead with the peaceful demonstration, another group tried to break the iron barricades and police called in more reinforcement.
Protesters managed to break some of the barricades but police immediately contained them.
Police, meanwhile, started an exercise to identify the miscreants and is taking them away from the spot.
At Jantar Mantar, young and old, men and women gathered at the protest hotspot from morning in an outpouring of grief and anger at the rape and death of the 23-year paramedic student.
A group of protesters sat on a one-day hunger strike at Jantar Mantar while others shouted slogans holding placards in their hands.
India Gate and Raisina Hill, where violent protests had taken place last week, remained out of bounds for public today as hundreds of policemen in riot gear guarded the area.
"The entire central vista including Rajpath, Vijay Chowk and all roads leading to India Gate will be closed for general traffic. Kamal Attaturk Marg has also been closed. All travellers are advised to avoid these roads," police said.
Comprising mostly students, the protesters are demanding tougher anti-rape laws.
"We want to carry out a peaceful protest; we want to carry forward the movement. But why do police restrain us from protesting at India Gate? We will continue to protest even if they barricade major stretches of roads and shut all metro stations... The police can't stop us from raising our voices," Praveen Pandey, a law student at Jamia Millia Islamia University, said.
"We want speedy justice in the gang-rape case. We want strict laws. Till then, we will continue our protest," Deepali Sharma, a student of Amity University, who came to the protest along with friends, said.
The protesters, including some elderly people, mourned in silence the death of the young woman.
"We will be protesting silently, but if the police become violent, we will also have no other option but to retaliate. We demand a special session of parliament to discuss the issue of rising incidence of rapes in India," Rohit Chahal, state secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad said.
The unidentified 23-year-old, the focus of nationwide protests since she was brutally attacked on a bus in New Delhi two weeks ago, was cremated away from the public glare only hours after her body was repatriated from Singapore.
The funeral pyre was lit after traumatised relatives and friends said their final prayers at a ceremony in southwestern Delhi, according to mourners who revealed she had been due to wed a boyfriend who was injured in the same attack.