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Protests swell; clamour grows for death to child rapists
* Barricades broken near Sonia’s house
* Entry blocked to police HQ
Syed Ali Ahmed/TNS

BJP's Mahila Morcha activists try to break barricades during a protest near UPA chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence over the rape of a minor girl in New Delhi on Sunday
BJP's Mahila Morcha activists try to break barricades during a protest near UPA chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence over the rape of a minor girl in New Delhi on Sunday. — PTI

New Delhi, April 21
Protests raged for a second day in the Capital today over the brutal rape of a five-year-old as scores of BJP women activists marched towards Congress president Sonia Gandhi's house and broke barricades on the way denouncing the barbaric incident. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj's demand for death penalty to child rapists has got the backing of the CPM which said it was open to the idea.

Shouting slogans like "Enough is enough!" and "Save the girl!", BJP women workers moved towards 10 Janpath in the heart of the city. After Saturday's protest at the same site, the police had erected barricades at some distance from the highly secured house. But the women broke them in a bid to enter it. Most women were immediately whisked away in a bus by the police but many others kept raising slogans against the barbaric rape that has shocked the country. Protests were held at AIIMS and the Delhi Police headquarters with demonstrators demanding dismissal of police chief Neeraj Kumar.

Protesters blocked traffic on roads opposite the police headquarters. When a water cannon was brought to disperse them, they fled but assembled again. They finally sat down at the entrance of the police headquarters. Addressing protesters, Sandeep Sharma, an Armyman from Delhi Cantonment, said: “I want my fellow soldiers to join the protest against police and government callousness in dealing with heinous crimes such as rape. Our duty is not just to guard the border. We should also come forward to change the system of governance.” “The government should terminate the services of senior police officers who are responsible for a steep rise in heinous crimes”, he said.

The girl’s condition is stable and she is responding to the treatment well. Medical Superintendent of AIIMS, DK Sharma said the five-year-old has undergone a surgery and is in a stable condition. She is showing gradual recovery. She slept well during the night. She is responding well to antibiotics."

Doctors earlier removed pieces of candle and a bottle from her vaginal orifice.

The protesters want the two policemen, who delayed in registering a complaint, to be sacked immediately. They have been suspended. Another police officer was suspended for slapping a woman protester. At AIIMS, protesters were seen shouting slogans the Delhi Police, UPA government and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

The CPM, meanwhile, today backed Sushma Swaraj’s demand for death penalty to child rapists. "We are willing to discuss and consider this because what happened in this Delhi rape case is gruesome. There is something seriously wrong in the society and there is no fear of the law," CPM leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters outside Parliament.

Swaraj had asked the Home Minister to convene a meeting of representatives of all political parties to consider provision on providing death sentence to perpetrators of such brutal crimes.

hunt begins for SECond suspect

Investigators have launched a hunt for a second suspect in the case. Arrested accused Manoj Kumar is learnt to have told both the Delhi and Bihar Police of the presence of a second person at the time of the crime.

Accused in 14-day judicial custody

Manoj was on Sunday sent to judicial custody till May 4 to facilitate a test identification parade after he was produced in a court by the Delhi Police a day before expiry of his transit remand.





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