Protests continue as Delhi gang-rape victim is cremated

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

A young woman who died after being gang-raped and beaten on a bus in India was cremated today amid an outpouring of anger and grief across the country by millions of people demanding greater protection for women from sexual violence.

The cremation took place during a private ceremony in Delhi soon after the 23-year-old woman's body arrived in the capital on a special Air India flight from Singapore, where she died at a hospital on Saturday after being sent for medical treatment.

The tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that female victims of sexual assault are often blamed for the crime, which forces them to keep quiet and discourages them from going to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Police often refuse to accept complaints from rape victims, and the rare prosecutions that reach courts can drag on for years.

The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress Party, were at the airport to receive the body and meet relatives of the victim who were on the flight. Security was tight, with no access to the public or media at the crematorium.

The victim, whose identity has been withheld to protect her family, was attacked with her fiancé after they boarded a bus in South Delhi's upmarket Saket neighbourhood as they returned from a cinema trip on 16 December. She was raped repeatedly by six men as the bus cruised the capital's streets. Their brutal assaults were allegedly hidden from view because the bus had tinted windows and closed curtains.

The trainee physiotherapist was also beaten with an iron rod which doctors believe caused the internal injuries that led to her death. She endured three operations, including one to remove 95 per cent of her intestines, and suffered a heart attack before she was airlifted to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital last Thursday.

Soon after her death on Saturday, police charged six men with murder. A spokesman, Rajan Bhagat, said all of the suspects faced the death penalty if convicted. The case has triggered protests throughout India and raised questions about lax attitudes by police towards sexual crimes. Thousands of Indians lit candles, held prayer meetings and marched through cities and towns, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, on Saturday night to express their grief and demand stronger protection for women and the death penalty for rape.

Yesterday, dozens of protesters tried to break through a police cordon and march to the parliament building in the capital, but were pushed back. The protesters, mainly from the student wing of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, shouted anti-government slogans. Hundreds of police sealed off the high-security area where the seat of government is located, in anticipation of more protests.

But even as thousands mourned the rape victim, in a sign of how pervasive such crimes are police in West Bengal were investigating another suspected gang rape and death.

The family of a woman said she and her husband were attacked as they returned home from work at a brick factory, and that six men dragged the woman into a farm after pouring acid into her husband's mouth.

The woman was found dead with multiple injuries and police detained four men for questioning.

AP

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
i100
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
News
i100
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
In other news ... Jon Snow performed at last year's Newsroom's Got Talent charity event
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?