The New Delhi authorities shut down the heart of the capital for a second day, snarling traffic and disrupting the commute of thousands of workers a day before the Christmas holiday.

Monday’s lockdown followed weekend clashes between the police and thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets to urge administrators to make the city safer for women, after the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student earlier this month shocked the nation. Six of the suspects have been arrested.

The police said they sealed off major arteries of the city, including several metro stations, to prevent crowds from engaging in violent protests, citing a law called Section 144, which bars people from gathering. Knots of police officers could be seen lurking on street corners on Monday, and parts of the city remained deserted.