Indian police ban rape protests in central New Delhi

Areas close to the president's residence and the parliament have been declared off-limits to protesters

  • Police unleash water cannon and fire tear gas towards demonstrators during a protest calling for better safetImage Credit: AFP
  • Police use water cannons to disperse demonstrators near the presidential palace during a protest rally in New Image Credit: REUTERS
  • Indian students other people shout slogans as they take part in a protest in Hyderabad, India, Saturday, Dec. Image Credit: AP
  • Indian students and other people shout slogans as they take part in a protest in Hyderabad, India, Saturday, DImage Credit: AP
14 Gulf News

New Delhi: Indian police on Sunday banned protests in central New Delhi following a wave of violent demonstrations over the savage gang-rape of a medical student last weekend, an official statement said.

Areas close to the president's residence and the parliament have been declared off-limits to protesters, the statement said, a day after police tear-gassed, baton-charged and fired water cannon on demonstrators.
 

Protests on Saturday

Police in India’s capital used tear gas and water cannons Saturday to push back thousands of people who tried to march to the presidential mansion to protest the gang rape and brutal beating of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus.

Some protesters suffered injuries when they tried to break through steel barricades in a high-security zone in New Delhi. Police fired tear gas and chased the protesters with sticks, and some of the protesters attacked police with stones.

The protesters were demanding the death penalty for the five suspects who have been arrested by police following the Dec. 16 attack in New Delhi. Police are still looking for the sixth and final assailant.

The government said Friday that it is seeking life sentences for the assailants.

The attack sparked days of protests across the country from women demanding authorities take tougher action to protect them against the daily threat of harassment and violence. On Friday, Indian officials announced a broad campaign to protect women in New Delhi.

Some of the protesters Saturday carried placards reading “Save women. Save India” and “Hang the rapists.”

VK Singh, a retired Indian army chief, joined the protesters and blamed “political and bureaucratic apathy for crimes against women.” He demanded immediate police reforms to train and arm security forces.

C.P.N. Singh, a junior home minister, appealed to the demonstrators, who were mostly students, to protest peacefully and avoid vandalizing government property.

“The government is hearing you and taking steps necessary to ensure the safety of women,” Singh told reporters.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, a spokesman for the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, however, condemned the police action against the protesters and asked government leaders to talk to them.

Police reinforcements rushed to the area as the crowds of protesters swelled Saturday morning on the lawns near Parliament House. The area is a high-security zone, with the presidential mansion, the prime minister’s office and various ministries located there.

The victim and a companion were attacked after getting a ride on a chartered bus. Police said men on the bus gang-raped the woman and beat her and her companion with iron rods as the bus drove through the city for hours, even passing through police checkpoints. The assailants eventually stripped the pair and dumped them on the side of a road.

The victim is recovering from injuries in a New Delhi government hospital.

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Latest Comment

Well why not. The government has banned everything else. They have banned cleanliness, banned justice, banned honesty, they banned virtually all the democratic rights of its people so the last was to ban protests India is no more a democratic country. The govt, the judiciary, the police etc etc have shed all their moral and ethical values and turned India it into a worse-than third world country

PETER

23 December 2012 18:31jump to comments
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