Police in India's capital used tear gas and water cannons for a second day today in a high-security zone to break up protests by thousands of people demonstrating against the gang rape and beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus. Police chased angry protesters with batons as they fought pitched battles to try to get past steel barricades and a wall created by hundreds of policemen to reach the president's mansion to present their demands. "We want justice," they shouted.
The demonstrations continued today despite Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde promising to consider their main demand for death penalties for all six suspects who have been arrested in the Dec. 16 attack. Shinde said last night that the government was taking steps to better ensure the safety of women. A group of protesters met Sonia Gandhi, the governing Congress party chief, and her son, lawmaker Rahul Gandhi, today and demanded a speedy trial of the suspects. The attack one week ago has sparked days of protests across the country. The victim is recovering from injuries in a New Delhi government hospital but is still in critical condition.