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Sheila Dikshit to Shinde: Allow protesters to go to India Gate

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has requested Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to allow anti-rape protesters in New Delhi to go to India Gate.

Earlier today, the Delhi Police closed all the roads leading to India Gate and other sensitive areas of the Capital as the death of the 23-year-old gangrape victim sparked fears of fresh protests in the city.

The girl, who was brutally raped by half-a-dozen men and thrown out of a moving bus in the national capital two weeks ago, breathed her last today morning in Singapore, where she was flown to by the government purportedly in a last-ditch effort to save her life.

Sheila Dikshit. PTI

Congress MP Sandeep Diskhit said that India Gate had become a symbol of protest for the youngsters. "I think permission can be given to hold protests at India Gate," said the Congress MP.

Delhi Police on Saturday stepped up security across the national capital as soon the news of the girl dying in a Singapore hospital came in. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have also been imposed in the New Delhi district of the national capital.

The police barricaded all entry points to India Gate, where massive protests took place on 22 and 23 December.

During the earlier protest, the security personnel had cracked down on anti-rape demonstrators, resulting in several people being injured. Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar, who had collapsed during the crackdown at India Gate on 23 December, died two days later at the city's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

As a precautionary measure, 10 Delhi metro stations have been shut down. The metro stations which have been shut down include Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, RCR, Udyog Bhavan, Jorbagh, Khan Market, Rajiv Chowk, Barakhambha, Mandi House and Pragati Maidan. However, inter-change facility will be available at Rajiv Chowk and Central Secretariat stations, DMRC officials said.

Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar urged the people to maintain pace and clam. "These are sad moments. We pray for Delhi brave heart. Delhi Police request Citizens to maintain peace and calm in these difficult times. We request them to avoid gathering at places advised time to time during the day and help us," said Kumar.

A total of 40 companies including 28 of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in Delhi.

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