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Delhi gangrape: Victim records statement

Posted on Dec 22, 09:59PM | IBNS

The Delhi gangrape victim on Saturday recorded her statement before a sub-divisional magistrate, as thousands of protesters demanding justice intensified their agitation and fought pitched battles with the Delhi Police, taking their movement to the doorstep of the President of India at Raisina Hill here.

The Delhi girl who withstood the rape and unprecedented torture by a group of men on a bus who then threw her off the vehicle on road to die on Sunday night last is psychologically balanced and is even optimistic about her future though doctors are still worried about her infection, the caregivers at the hospital said on Saturday.

Doctors of Safdarjung Hospital said the girl remained psychologically composed.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday and briefed him on the prevailing situation in the national capital.

The Prime Minister reportedly directed him to ensure people felt safe in the city.

The Delhi Police unleashed batons, water cannons and fired teargas shells at the agitators comprising of students and women, on several occasions when they marched towards the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Earlier in the day, the security personnel stopped the protesters who had gathered at India Gate on Saturday morning and then marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan.

There was chaos outside the North Block in the national capital as the police resorted to lathi charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse protesters as they attempted to break barricades and enter the premises.

Several protesters and a traffic policeman were reportedly injured during the clash as the agitators hurled plastic bottles, stones, shoes and helmet missiles at policemen and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel.

Several police vehicles and buses were damaged during the clash as angry protesters refused to vacate the area that houses the North and South Blocks including the Prime Minister's office.

According to reports, six protesters were arrested from India Gate.

Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh told CNN-IBN: "The protesters need to calm down, only then can a dialogue happen from the government's side in an orderly manner. We can't let the protesters break barricades and run into government property. The government has taken its stance that it will demand the harshest punishment for the rapists."

The police later in the day urged protesters to 'stay calm'.

Earlier in the day, ex-Army Chief V K Singh joined the demonstrators at the India Gate.

Meanwhile, politicians across party lines condemned the lathicharge incident.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "The BJP condemn the action taken against protesters. We condemn the police action. They were our children. They were not associated with any party."

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj tweeted: "The people are genuinely angry."

She said: "I am speaking to Prime Minister for a special session of Parliament to provide death sentence for such heinous crimes against women."

Reacting on the incident, senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat told a Bengali channel: "The authorities seem to be insensible to the grave incident which has shaken everyone's conscience. This is a spontaneous protest movement."

On Friday, the sixth accused in the case was arrested from Aurangabad in Bihar, hours after the fifth accused was arrested from Uttar Pradesh.

"The last accused was held from Bihar. He had a wayward life," a Delhi Police official told media.

On Thursday, one of the four accused in the case was "identified" by the victim's friend during a test identification parade (TIP) at Tihar Jail, a report quoted a senior police official as saying.

The three others arrested till then, Ram Singh, Pawan and Vinay, had refused to undergo the test identification parade.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has convened a meeting on Dec 27 to discuss the Delhi gangrape case and the law and order situation in the country.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, committee's chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said: "The meeting is going to deliberate on issues concerning the rape incidents, the changes, if any, to be made to the statute and also the suggestions for the government."

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has sent notices to Union home secretary R K Singh and Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, asking them to attend the meeting.

The girl after watching a movie on Sunday evening along with a male friend had boarded a Whiteline bus where the horror unfolded as she was raped and brutalized with an iron rod. She and her friend, who was also hit with iron rod, were then thrown off the bus on a flyover from where they were later rescued and taken to hospital.

The brutality of the attack led to unprecedented protests that swept India as people from all walks of life took to streets expressing their angst, even as administrators scrambled for words and tried to pacify the outrage with talk of action.

Hundreds continue to gather at India Gate in Delhi every evening with banners and placards, holding candlelight vigils and performing street plays. Protesters also took their stir before the residence of President of India in the high security zone of Delhi.