Delhi

Vasant Kunj rape case: locals clash with police; 11 arrested

Security personnel keeping vigil after clashes broke out over the rape of a minor girl, in the Capital on Saturday.

Security personnel keeping vigil after clashes broke out over the rape of a minor girl, in the Capital on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: R_V_Moorthy

Several, including police officers, injured; vehicles damaged; case registered

A major clash broke out between locals and police on Friday night, three days after a nine-year-old girl was raped by a 34-year-old man in a Vasant Kunj camp. The girl had gone to use a public toilet when the incident took place.

Several, including locals and 10 police officers, sustained injuries and 10 private and government vehicles were damaged. The police have registered a case on charges of rioting and have arrested 11 people in connection with the case, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South West) Devender Arya said on Saturday.

Locals said a group of over 40 women blocked the road on Friday evening demanding that they be “shown the photo of the arrested accused”. The crowd swelled to over 1,500 persons in a few hours.

Demand safety measures

Sonia, a resident who was part of the crowd said, “We wanted to see the face of the man because there are so many women in the area; what if he gets released in a few months and come here again”.

The women also said that they demanded safety measures because the portable public toilets have become a hub of drug users.

However, an injured police officer claimed that the protesters were demanding that “the accused should be brought there and they would hang him”.

Initially, there were about 15 police officers managing the crowd, but a few hours later, around 10.30 p.m. as the situation grew out of control and the protesters refused to lift the roadblock, additional force of the district was called in.

‘Women officers absent’

Locals alleged that police first lathicharged them, used teargas shells, forcibly entered their houses, beat them up and broke their belongings. Women alleged that there were no women officers and male cops thrashed them.

The police claimed that locals started throwing stones at them following which crowd-controlling measures were undertaken.

Police barged in

Pushpa (35), who sustained injuries, said that she was at home cooking, and her two sons and brother were also at home when the police barged in and thrashed them.

“Because of the situation, we had locked our doors but the officer showed us a gun from the window and asked us to open it. They entered our room and beat us with sticks,” she said adding that she had not participated in the protest. Her son and brother also sustained injuries.

Another resident Shamsheri alleged that the police entered her house and broke television sets, glass windows and thrashed the family members.

“Male police offices barged in. They slapped me and my differently abled brother-in-law,” said Rubina. “There were no women officers. They were abusing and thrashing women. Is it not against the law?” she asked.

However, Mr. Arya denied the claim and said that systematic raids were conducted in houses after about 34 persons were identified with the help of videographic evidence.

To maintain law and order in the area, local police along with paramilitary forces have been deployed in the area. Mr. Arya said that the situation is under control but the force will remain deployed as a precautionary measure.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 9:27:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/vasant-kunj-rape-case-locals-clash-with-police-11-arrested/article24782255.ece

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