Outrage over Delhi gang-rape swells across India

Riot police fired water cannon Wednesday at a protest in New Delhi over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student who was left fighting for her life as anger against the brutal attack grew across India.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh joined his ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi in condemning Sunday night's "heinous" assault by six drunken man who were joyriding on a bus when they picked up the woman and a male companion.

After taking turns to rape the woman, the attackers then threw the pair off the vehicle.

Four people, including the bus driver, have so far been arrested, while a hunt is ongoing for two other suspects. Three of those arrested appeared in court on Wednesday and were remanded in custody.

As the government tried to address the anger by announcing a series of measures, a number of demonstrations were held in Delhi and other cities, including Ahmedabad and Patna.

Police used water cannon on one group of demonstrators as they tried to tear down steel barricades outside the official residence of New Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Before the violence broke out, protesters carrying banners chanted: "We want equal rights for women."

"Women don't feel safe in the city, this is appalling," said 18-year-old student Jayesha Koushik who was among those protesting.

"The blame is always put on the women. 'She was not wearing the right dress, she was out at the wrong time, she must have provoked it'. How can you blame the women for rape?"

"Rapes are happening to teach women a lesson," said Kavita Krishnan of the All India Progressive Women's Association who was among the protesters.

Even Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan weighed in by calling on his Facebook page for "every Indian (to) become a vigilante, a soldier, a commander" to "fight such heinous crimes with strength and conviction".

National crime records show that 228,650 of the total 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year were aimed against women.

Rape cases in India more than doubled between 1990 and 2008. Sunday night's case was the latest in a series of particularly brutal attacks in the capital.

Congress's Gandhi who is India's most powerful politician, described the attack as a source of shame for the capital after she paid a visit Tuesday to the hospital where the victim is being treated.

"Such violence and criminality needs not only to be condemned, it calls for a concerted effort to fight it," Gandhi said in a letter to Dikshit.

The anger spread to India's financial capital Mumbai where protesters organised a petition to the authorities to seek justice for the victims.

Hospital doctors were shocked by the extent of her injuries. "They cannot be described in words," a surgeon who did not want to be named told AFP.

In a bid to stem the growing anger, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced in parliament that there would be a crackdown on buses having tinted glass and heavy curtains -- measures that should already be in force.

The rape took place over a period of more than 40 minutes on Sunday in a bus which had stopped to pick up the two victims who had spent the evening at the cinema.

"They began molesting the girl and her companion bravely fought back trying to save her but these men attacked him with an iron rod," police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said on Tuesday.

"The victim was dragged to the rear of the bus and brutally beaten and raped."

Three of the suspects appeared before a city magistrate on Wednesday where a police request for a custody extension was granted.

New Delhi's police chief on Tuesday demanded the death penalty for people convicted of rape, a crime that currently carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Next leader must not be newbie’
    ‘Next leader must not be newbie’

    Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the next president of the Philippines must have vast experience and a long track record in governance and in dealing with crises. “I am very much convinced that the local government is the best training ground for those who want to run for national government positions,” he said. Binay said he is determined to run for president in 2016 on the strength of his competence and track record. …

  • Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning
    Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning

    A suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case who had been examined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) tested negative for poisoning, medical records released yesterday showed. However, the Quezon City court handling the multiple murder case resolved to isolate Police Officer 1 Pia Kamidon from the rest of the accused detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for his safety. In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 221 assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ordered jail officials to …

  • ‘Homework first before Facebook’
    ‘Homework first before Facebook’

    President Aquino elicited laughter from students here as he reminded them to open books first before Facebook. “Finish your assignments first before making a raid in the Clash of Clans,” Aquino said, referring to a popular online game. In a speech during the turnover yesterday of two new three-story buildings at the Tarlac National High School, he said the government could only provide opportunities for learning but the rest of the work would be up to the students. The new school buildings …

  • Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement
    Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement

    President Aquino ended speculations yesterday and confirmed that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had indeed resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police. As of this time, we are conducting various interviews and checks on the various candidates,” Aquino told reporters at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City. Aquino had kind words for Espina, saying that he stood by and defended the 44 slain police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the operation in …

  • Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation
    Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation

    President Aquino welcomed yesterday the Group of Seven industrialized countries’ expression of concern over rising tension in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, calling it a clear indication of the global scope of the problem ramped up by China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. In Tarlac City where he led the turnover of new classrooms, Aquino told reporters that goodwill and not tension must prevail in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, where territorial …

  • DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12
    DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12

    The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the first two years of implementation of the K to 12 program. “We will use TESDA centers as technical-vocational laboratories for senior high school,” DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said during the inauguration of 30 new classrooms at the Tarlac National High School yesterday. The classrooms were constructed in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Philippine falls on foreign selling; others flat to weaker

    BANGKOK, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker on Friday as Philippine stocks slid on selling led by foreign funds and Singapore shares extended losses with investors ... …

  • Philippine Airlines parent says back in black
    Philippine Airlines parent says back in black

    Philippine Airlines' parent firm said it had returned to profitability, the first time in three years either entity reported being in the black for an entire year. In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday, PAL Holdings reported an after-tax net profit of 129.74 million pesos ($2.93 million) in its fiscal year to December 31. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options