The Delhi Police had a tough time containing the supporters of India Against Corruption (IAC), who ran amok through Delhi's most secured district on Sunday, threatening to lay a siege to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP president Nitin Gadkari and Congress president Sonia Gandhi's houses.
A security nightmare for the Delhi police, the protest ran out of control at several places after their leader Arvind Kejriwal announced at Jantar Mantar that they should go and squat before the houses of the top political leaders.
The police had to resort to lathicharge when supporters managed to reach close to PM's 7 Race Course residence. They also used water cannon and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
As the crowd split out to reach the three destinations the cops were confused. The real drama started at 12:45 pm when supporters ran towards Parliament Street where police had put up five layers of barricade. But the supporters managed to reach Parliament Street roundabout making a mockery of barricades. Interestingly, police personnel were inside the police station when this happened as they did not expect the crowd to breach the barricade.
Immediately, an alert was sounded and barricades were put up at Rafi Marg, Raisina road, Janpath and Teen Murti Lane. "The supporters were running helter-skelter and it made our task all the more difficult. The supporters crossed at least five roundabouts, before they reached Akbar Road roundabout and at every roundabout, the crowd took different direction to confuse the police," a senior police officer said.
Earlier, the protesters were stopped in their march to the residences of the Prime Minister on Race Course Road, Sonia Gandhi on Janpath and Gadkari on Tughlaq Road. But when the protesters tried to jump over the barricades, the police warned them and later used water cannon and fired teargas shells. Some of the protesters punctured tyres of the buses and refused to move out. Police then used force to remove them from the area.
The metro stations remained open for public throughout the protest as Delhi Police had withdrawn its advisory to close them during the day time. Meanwhile, police have registered five cases of rioting. As many as 15 police officers and six others suffered minor injuries. Police said 974 persons were detained throughout the day.