Incidents of violence marred the ongoing protest at Jantar Mantar here on Sunday when a large number of people gathered to demand stronger laws to check violence against women and justice for the December 16 gang-rape victim.

The violence, allegedly by volunteers of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad, students' wing of the BJP, took the attention away from an otherwise peaceful agitation.

Violence seemed imminent when around 1 p.m. a mob carrying ABVP flags and banners confronted the police over an intended march from Jantar Mantar to Connaught Place. When the police prevented them, a section of the mob retreated while others tried to go ahead after breaking the barricades. Even after several instances of provocation, the police remained calm and managed to contain the mob. Following the scuffle, the police detained a few of them who were later released.

The frequent episode of violence was not the only thing which troubled those who gathered to mourn the young girl. A few complained that they faced harassment at the hands of some men. “It is an indication that there is a long way to go in creating a culture of gender equality,” said a protester.