An Indian policeman who was injured in clashes during a protest sparked by a gang-rape in New Delhi has died, a police spokesman said.
“The protesters pelted stones at Tomar, he was unconscious for two days and today he died,” New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old police constable, Subash Tomar, was deployed at the India Gate monument on Sunday to help control the protests.
He was beaten up by a mob and rushed to hospital by the police.
More than 50 police officers were injured in Sunday’s violence as police struggled to quell increasing outrage over sex crimes following the gang-rape of a student.
Victim’s health deteriorating
Much of central Delhi remains sealed off after a wave of violent protests over a surge in violence against women, exemplified by the student’s gang-rape in the capital on December 16.
|Protests against sex crimes have taken place across India [AFP]|
The rape victim’s medical condition has deteriorated and she “continues to be in the intensive care unit and is having respiratory problems”, said M Mishra, a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital, on Monday evening.
She has been fighting for her life since she was hit with an iron rod and then raped by six men on a moving bus in Delhi last weekend; a male friend travelling with her tried unsuccessfully to protect her from the men, who are now in jail.
Meanwhile, two senior policemen have been suspended in connection to the gang rape.
Officials say they failed to carry out their duties as the bus, where the attack took place, passed through several police barricades.
Appeal for calm
In a rare televised address, Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has urged for calm following the weekend clashes in New Delhi and vowed to punish the rapists for their “monstrous” crime.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has also appealed to the youth to maintain law and order.
“The anger of the youth should not overcome reason and there is need for practical action,” Mukherjee said, according to reports.
Police barricaded roads leading to India Gate, an imposing war memorial in the centre of the city that has become a hub of the protests by mostly college students.
Many metro rail stations in fog-shrouded Delhi were also closed.
“Today is Christmas but we cannot step out of our houses because of the police restrictions,” Anita Kumar, a mother of three daughters told Hindi news channel Aaj Tak.
Protests against sex crimes have taken place across India over the past week to denounce the police and government.The biggest protests were in New Delhi on the weekend, prompting police to cordon off areas around government buildings.
More than 100 people were injured, including dozens of policemen.
National figures show that 228,650 of the 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year were against women, with the number of rapes in the capital rising 17 percent to 661 this year.