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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

  • AP
  • Published: 09:54 December 23, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AFP
  • Police unleash water cannon and fire tear gas towards demonstrators during a protest calling for better safety for women following the rape of a student last week, in front of the Government Secretariat and Presidential Palace in New Delhi on December 22, 2012.
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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.

Comments (14)

  1. Added 17:59 December 23, 2012

    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, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 17:50 December 23, 2012

    INDIAN Police can BAN protest but what about RAPE, can they BAN RAPE ??? INDIAN police is useless and corrupted. today they are beating the students who are protesting against the RAPE but when they are going to punish those culprits? it looks like they are protectors of RAPISTS not the public.

    Naresh Kumar Devra, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:18 December 23, 2012

    Our Govt. now might be thinking of the supporters behind these rapists to use them as vote bank. Indians don’t or didn’t have a chance to feel shame over their Govt. like this earlier. A fully (100%) corrupted and anti-social govt. rules India. None of our politicians raise their voice to say something now. Just wait for a while, political parties in India will take over this strike for their own advantage not for the safety of women. We, the young people should convoy like this at the time of parliament election to build young and energetic Govt. which will understand social traits, culture, human value, etc. I never suggest any punishment other than executing them in the public which in turn will lead example to others.

    Abdul Razak VT, Abu Dhabi, India

  4. Added 15:49 December 23, 2012

    What kind of mercy do these barbarians require? The law in our country is so flimsy that if we really look into it, Indian laws are a boon to the criminals. It is a safe haven for the criminals & antisocial. In every country, we find that laws are so strict that rapists, third degree criminals & antinational elements are slapped capital punishment within no time. Whereas, in India the government provides lawyers to barbaric terrorists/criminals to prove they are innocent in spite of catching the criminal red handed, provide them royal food & “Z” class security. These kinds of laws provoke anybody feel free to commit any kind of crime it could be against anything or any body. Heinous crimes can be curtailed only by introducing third degree punishments to crimes related to assault, rape, causing intentional death. Recently, a honest SI Of Police was abused inside the police station itself by a politician of the ruling party in Kerala for arresting a criminal of his political party. This is a shame on the top brasses of the Police force for being a dump spectator to such incidence on his subordinates. What kind of security can we public expect from the Police Force if rogue politicians start to dominate the force? It is pathetic that the so called PM is still silent.

    mahesh, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 15:24 December 23, 2012

    It is really hard to understand the silence of ruling party's future Prime ministerial candidate. He should've acted as the voice of the people. He is in the same path as of the current Prime minister. Shame !!

    Raj, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:14 December 23, 2012

    They should not be hanged only but severely punished, making theer lives so miserable. Indian government should not even think twice and understand the pain that girl has gone through.

    Indian, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:46 December 23, 2012

    Really so sad. I am really ashamed to tell I am an Indian because of these politians in India. I dont know why they are waiting to make a decision and strict laws & rules against these kind of crimes. I think when their family will have such problems then only they will wake up. I am least bothered which party is ruling the country, but whoever it may be please just stand aside and think as human being and give justice for an another human. Indian law is written for human being only. Please don't think much to punish those animals and punishment should not be a simple one. They should be executed in a public place. Crime is more in India because punishment is less. So, if govt knows 100% sure abt the crime and the culprits who did that then govt should immd take action. i appreciate gulf countries in giving punishments for crime. Not making these kind of strict decision itself is a very big corruption. Please wake up.

    Human, Duabi, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:44 December 23, 2012

    Majority is seeking Capital punishment for rapist. Death, is the only punishment for such an act under Islamic law.

    Habib, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  9. Added 12:42 December 23, 2012

    Don't stop, keep doing and old government politico should be changed and brand new team should enter parliment and every ruling places. Otherwise follow UAE ruling.

    ummpa, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:10 December 23, 2012

    Anyhow, a shiver has gone through the Parliament thanks to the protests. Great job done by the people - they did protest. And that is what democracy is all about. There must be tough rules delivered at the right time and no culprits must escape. People are elected into chairs to protect the citizens. Unfortunately not even a percent of security provided for the officials are given to the common man's safety.

    Agniyah Xec, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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