Gang Rapes Trigger Outrage in India

Women say police ignore sexual violence

By Newser Editors and Wire Services Suggested by wd56

Posted Dec 19, 2012 4:55 PM CST

(Newser) – The hours-long gang rape and near-fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi triggered outrage and anger across the country today as Indians demanded action from authorities who have long ignored persistent violence and harassment against women. In the streets and in Parliament, calls rose for stringent and swift punishment against those attacking women, including a proposal to make rapists eligible for the death penalty. As the calls for action grew louder, two more gang rapes were reported, including one in which the 10-year-old victim was killed.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old victim of the first rape lay in critical condition in the hospital with severe internal injuries. Police said six men raped the woman and savagely beat her and her companion with iron rods on a bus driving around the city—passing through several police checkpoints—before stripping them and dumping them on the side of the road Sunday night. "I feel it is sick what is happening across the country," said Smitha, a 32-year-old protester who goes by only one name. "It is totally sick, and it needs to stop."

Indian protesters hold placards as they block a major traffic intersection during a protest in New Delhi, India, Wednesday.   (Altaf Qadri)
An Indian police officer tries to pacify protesters outside the police headquarters during a protest in New Delhi.   (Altaf Qadri)
An Indian protester argues with a police officer in New Delhi.   (Altaf Qadri)
An Indian protester holds a placard as she sits on a sidewalk during a protest in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. The hours-long gang-rape and near fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on...   (Altaf Qadri)
Indian protesters stop traffic as they block a main road in New Delhi.   (Altaf Qadri)
An Indian woman shouts slogans outside the residence of Delhi state government Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in New Delhi.   (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Indian activists of All India Democratic Students' Organization shout slogans during a protest in Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
An Indian woman holds a candle during a candlelight vigil in New Delhi.   (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
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