Delhi gangrape: Sonia Gandhi wants exemplary punishment for rape accused

7.48 pm: Sources say the government may amend rape law and introduce death penalty.

Sources say that Sonia Gandhi has told the government to take the strongest action possible against the Delhi gangrape accused. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the government was working towards making a new law that will act as a deterrant.

5.20pm: Sushma Swaraj calls for special Parliament session

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj called for a special Parliament session to discuss the framing of new laws on women's safety.  She also demanded that the accused be  sentenced to death.

Meanwhile, one of the six accused, a minor, has been sent to a juvenile custody home.

4.45pm: Home minister meets PM

Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today met Manmohan Singh about briefed him about the status of the case and the security measures the government is taking to make Delhi a safer city.

3.50pm: Sushil Kumar Shinde to meet Manmohan Singh

As the protests over police and government apathy thickened, it was reported that Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the situation and the safety measures being mulled.

3.30pm: From better policing to Rahul Gandhi's explanation, Delhi rape protesters work up a frenzy

Priyanka Sharma, hotel management student, Greater Noida: The government agencies are throwing the ball in each others' courts. We citizens are not responsible if there is no harmony between authorities.

Geetika Chaddha, housewife, Delhi: I don't know solution. I am not a lawyer or a civil society activist. I just know that this not how society I want to give to my children.

Ruchira Agrawal, student, Delhi University: Generally I am a brave person. I am confident about traveling late evening. But this incident has shaken me to the hilt. I have become very, very conscious about men around me. I feel very secure. I have given up on the government.

Protesters at India gate. Image courtesy: IBN Live.

3.10pm: Crowds get violent, police lob tear gas shells again

For the fifth time in the day, the police resorted to lobbing tear gas shells at the crowd as a section of them tried entering government property at Raisina Hills. Some protesters, who have been lathicharged, were reportedly injured and moved to a hospital nearby. A CNN IBN report puts the number at 13. The angry mod also pelted stones at the police and some of the security personnel were injured too.

1.10pm: Victim calm and has shown extraordinary courage

Doctors at the Safdarjung Hospital briefed the media about the victim's condition and said that though the infection is still cause for worry, she has shown improvement. The victim, according to the doctors, have been given sips of water and apple juice since yesterday. Also, the amount of oxygen which she was being given to help her breathe has been reduced as she has shown signs of improvement.

The in-house psychologist at the hospital also said that the 23-year-old paramedical student is 'extraordinarily composed'. "She is strong, composed and is even optimistic about her future. She has not shown signs of agitation and is dealing with the situation bravely. In fact, she has been able to ask for things yesterday by herself," says the doctor.

12.25pm: Delhi gangrape victim speaks to the sub-divisional magistrate

The victim, who according to reports is conscious but critical, recorded her statement before the sub divisional magistrate today. Her statement will now be admissible in court.

12.00pm: Government appeals for calm

RPN Singh, minister of state, home affairs, speaks to CNN IBN and appeals for calm. "This is not a way to protest. Trying to storm buildings and breaking barricades is not a way to start a dialogue. The government is trying to do whatever it can to take measures and make sure that women are safe in the country. We will hand out exemplary punishment to the accused and we have already heard and understood what the public wants. We are following their line of thought itself. But no solution can be achieved with violence, it will take the focus off the real issue. It's also not possible for a government representative to talk to that volatile a crowd," he says.

Meanwhile, the victim, has been off the ventilator for the past 12 hours. However, she continues to be critical.

11.50pm: Tear gas shells lobbed at the protesters

After water canons failed to daunt the protesters, the police lobs a round of tear gas shells at the crowd. However, the hundreds-strong crowd doesn't yield and wait till the smoke dissipates. They again surge towards the gates of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. A few shots are also fired in the air to disperse the crowd to no avail.

A large police force has been deployed to contain the protests but their efforts seem to have angered the crowds even more. According to the CNN IBN report, a few police officers who tried to lathicharge the crowds have been roughed up.


Protesters. AP.

As the 23-year-old gangrape victim fights for life in a Delhi hospital, waves of protests seized the Capital and demonstrators gathered in front of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in hundreds. Chanting slogans and carrying placards the angry crowd arrived at the gates of the President's residence demanding action against the rapists and measures to strengthen security in the city.

The protesters broke through police barricades and rushed towards the gates of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Fearing they might storm the President's residence, the police resorted to water canons to disperse the crowds. However, from the looks of it, the crowd seems to be in no mood to give up.

Updated Date: Dec 22, 2012 21:16 PM

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