Delhiites seethe, protests spread

Agitators demand police chief’s sack, lay siege to PM, Sonia’s residences; manhunt launched for second rape accused.

Published: 22nd April 2013 09:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd April 2013 09:35 AM   |  A+A-


Two days after the five-year-old rape victim was admitted in the AIIMS hospital, she has started showing signs of improvement, even as angry protestors kept the Delhi police on their toes as they tried to hold protests in different parts of the capital, including outside the high security residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

On Sunday, doctors’ announcement on the health of the victim brought collective relief to the country. “She is showing gradual recovery and slept well in the night. At present, her vital parameters are stable. She is conscious, alert and talking to her parents, doctors and nurses. She is having mild fever which is showing improvement. As such, there is no danger to her life. The child is responding well to antibiotics,” said Dr D K Sharma, medical superintendent of AIIMS.

“We’re trying to control the infection and she is responding well. It will take at least two weeks to discharge her. The victim has undergone colostomy and other surgical procedures,” Sharma added.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old accused Manoj Kumar, arrested in connection with the rape case from Bihar, was produced before the magistrate who remanded him in 14 days judicial custody. Though police initially remained noncommittal on the involvement of a second person in the case, by evening a massive manhunt was launched to arrest him, sources said.

In a related development, as the protests against the rape entered the second day, Manmohan Singh too condemned the incident saying that the “gruesome assault on a little girl a few days back reminds us once again of the need to work collectively to root out this sort of depravity from our society.” 

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police shut down India Gate by clamping section 144 to stop people from gathering there, though the PM took a considerate view.  “The agitations that have followed the two incidents point to the need for showing sensitivity while dealing with public anxiety that such incidents generate,” Singh said during a conference on civil services day. He added that a widespread national movement in needed to ensure protection of women and children.

 While BJP Mahila Morcha activists protested outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence, 10 Janpath, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party members staged agitations outside the PM’s residence, 7 RCR, demanding the immediate removal of Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar. The protestors braved searing heat during their vigil outside the AIIMS and the police headquarters. 


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