Rage at brutal rape erupts in India

Water cannon and tear gas used against protesters shocked by horrific attack


Police in Delhi yesterday used water cannon, tear gas and baton charges to disperse crowds of demonstrators protesting over the gang-rape of a student which has outraged the country.

The protesters, many of them students chanting "we want justice", had gathered close to government ministries in the capital and had tried to push their way past barricades towards the official residence of the President. Police said they were trying to avoid hurting anyone but that they were obliged to protect the high-security zone.

Several thousand protesters had gathered following a week of mounting anger after a 23-year-old female paramedical student and a male colleague were severely beaten and the young woman raped by a gang of men driving around the city in a bus. Though rape and sexual assaults occur frequently in Delhi and other parts of northern India, the savage nature of the attack, which has left the woman in hospital in a critical condition, has triggered widespread outrage.

Among those taking part in yesterday's protests were a mother and daughter, Kalpana Permar, 19, and Monica Singh, 48, from the state of Uttar Pradesh. Mrs Singh said the last time she had joined a demonstration was in the aftermath of the 1978 murder of sister and brother Geeta and Sanjay Chopra, before which Geeta was raped.

"At that time I was a teenager but now I have come to support my daughter at this protest," said Mrs Singh. Her daughter, a philosophy student at Delhi University, said she had joined the demonstrations because of the nature of the attack. "This is not just a rape. It is a crime that has happened in our country. It is very shameful," she said.

Another protester, Shilip Yadav, said few women felt safe in Delhi. "Not at all. Not even 1 per cent. Not in the morning, not in the evening. Even though this is the national capital," said the 21-year-old student.

Protesters who had gathered at the bottom of Raisina Hill, where many government ministries are located, said they wanted the protest to be peaceful. But as the day drew on there were clashes with police, and several people were reportedly injured. Some protesters threw stones, rubber flip-flops and plastic bottles.

But the anger seemed targeted more at the government than the police. Demonstrators have been demanding fast-track courts, tougher laws and leadership from politicians. "We want a safe city," said another student, Shuchi Gupta.

The government has been accused of being slow to respond to the protests, which grew in the aftermath of last Sunday's attack, which ended with the woman and her friend dumped naked by the roadside.

The government said on Friday that it was seeking life imprisonment for the assailants. Many protesters, however, have been demanding the death penalty for the five suspects arrested and the sixth alleged attacker who remains at large.

The main opposition has demanded a change to the law, prescribing the death penalty for rape. Last night, the office of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, said new measures had been agreed to protect women in the capital.

Many protesters were angry that no one from the government came to meet with them. According to the Associated Press, C P N Singh, a junior minister in the home ministry, told reporters that the government had urged protesters not to damage property. "The government is hearing you and taking steps necessary to ensure the safety of women," Mr Singh said.

Doctors treating the victim, from the state of Uttar Pradesh, said they had never seen injuries so severe from such an attack. She has had to have part of her intestine removed because doctors were fearful of the threat of gangrene.

The victim and her companion were attacked after getting on a private bus, thinking it was a normal vehicle, after a visit to the cinema. Police have said the men on the bus, many of whom come from a slum in the south of the city, gang-raped the woman and beat her and her companion with iron rods as the bus drove through the city for hours. Adding to the public horror, it was later revealed the bus had driven through several police check-points.

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
footballBut the Newcastle United midfielder's news has 'left his mistress furious'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style