WEL­COME TO RAISINA HELL

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - NA­TION -

On Satur­day morn­ing, a fleet named Varun (ve­hi­cles fit­ted with wa­ter can­nons) and sev­eral po­lice vans were wait­ing for the pro­test­ers at In­dian democ­racy's neigh­bour­hood of power Raisina Hill - which hosts the Pres­i­dent's house, North Block, South Block and Par­lia­ment.

But far from dous­ing the pop­u­lar anger, the wa­ter can­nons served to mul­ti­ply the ou­trage. On tele­vi­sion and so­cial me­dia, near of­fice wa­ter­cool­ers and at street cor­ners across the na­tion, peo­ple won­dered if the gov­ern­ment was com­pe­tent to deal with cit­i­zens' protests, and if it was in touch with Young In­dia at all.

As TV screens beamed im­ages of po­lice ac­tion 24X7, the crowd swelled. Spon­ta­neous protests broke out in Mum­bai, Ben­galuru, Kolkata and other cities, pow­ered by in­ter­net and mo­bile phones.

In Delhi, more and more young peo­ple ar­rived around 5.30pm and took over the Ra­j­path stretch from In­dia Gate to Vi­jay Chowk at the foot of Raisina Hill. Ba­ton­wield­ing cops sought to push them away from Vi­jay Chowk to­wards the Ra­j­path-Rafi Marg in­ter­sec­tion. As chaos broke out again, some pro­test­ers dam­aged DTC buses, van­dalised po­lice ve­hi­cles, dam­aged fenc­ing and the sea­sonal plan­ta­tion at the Cen­tral Vista.

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