Restrictions to continue around India Gate, Raisina Hill

Top decision makers of the UPA government, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, held a brainstorming session on Saturday evening and decided to continue to restrict protesters from India Gate owing to intelligence inputs that miscreants might take advantage of the situation.

The restrictions on mass movement at the India Gate and at Raisina Hill was imposed after the police lathi-charged protesters on Sunday on the pretext that anti-social elements had gathered and were pelting stones at them.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was also present in the meeting attended by senior ministers including Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who had to abort his Maharashtra trip mid-way after hearing about the victim’s demise.

It is learnt that there was a difference of opinion as to whether India Gate should be thrown open to people for peaceful protest on Sunday, when the girl’s body is flown back to Delhi for cremation.

Sources said that some of the leaders who attended the gathering were of the view that peaceful protesters should be given access to the India Gate given the fact that no untoward incidents were reported from the dharna held at Jantar Mantar, apart from other places.

By doing this, the government can convey that they encourage people’s fundamental right to protest. But the Union Home Ministry is believed to have issued a directive to continue with the restrictions imposed in the central parts of the city.

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