Profound anger, grief in India's streets over Delhi gang-rape

Profound anger, grief in India's streets over Delhi gang-rape
New Delhi

Hundreds of people gathered at India Gate in Delhi this evening to share their outrage over Sunday night's gang-rape of a young woman on a bus.

A group of 200 students tried to march onto Raisina Hill, where several ministries, the Prime Minister's office and Rashtrapati Bhawan are located. The police cordoned off the area. Representatives of the students were then invited to meet Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at his home. The students gave Mr Shinde a 10-point demand.

Through the day, there were rallies across the capital and in other cities, with people demanding a swift trial of the six men accused in the case, and new laws with heftier punishment for those convicted of rape. "We want fast-track trials," said a young male student.

"I am here with my young daughter. She asks me 'What is rape? How do I stop it?' What do I tell her?" a man in a blazer asked, his eight-year-old in his arms.

The woman who was raped on Sunday night is in critical condition in hospital. (Read) Her friend, who boarded a bus with her after watching a movie, was hit on the head when he tried to protect her. She was then attacked with the same rod when she tried to protect him. Both were then thrown from a bus, semi-naked.

The scale of the assault has horrified Delhi where women are used to fending for themselves with minimal assistance from the police. Earlier today, students and women protested near the house of the chief minister, Sheila Dikshit; the police used water cannons to check them from approaching her residence. (Read)

Another demonstration outside Delhi Police Headquarters ended peacefully after a group of women met Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

Speaking later, Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan told the media: "We have been assured that this case will be dealt with in a very, very severe manner."

About 150 women and college students who gathered outside police headquarters for nearly three hours demanded more police presence on roads and fast-track courts to prosecute rapists.

Story First Published: December 19, 2012 19:26 IST

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