News / Asia

Indian PM Appeals for Calm After Gang Rape Protests Turn Violent

Indian women demonstrating against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus scuffle with police as they try to approach the residence of Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in New Delhi, India, Dec. 24, 2012.
Indian women demonstrating against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus scuffle with police as they try to approach the residence of Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in New Delhi, India, Dec. 24, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India's Prime Minister has appealed for calm following days of violent protests over the gang rape of a young woman in the Indian capital.

In a televised address Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he shared people’s genuine anger and anguish. However, he said violence will serve no purpose. 

Singh was referring to clashes that took place between protestors and police in the Indian capital Saturday and Sunday.
“I appeal to all concerned citizens to maintain peace and calm. I assure you that we will make all possible efforts to ensure safety and security of women in this country," he promised, "we will examine without delay not only responses to this terrible crime, but all aspects concerning safety of women and children and punishment to those who commit these monstrous crimes.”

  • An Indian protester shouts slogans as he is stopped by police during a protest against a recent gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi, India, December 27, 2012.
  • Indians protesting the recent gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi, display a poster calling for death penalty for offenders at a rally in Kolkata, December 27, 2012.
  • Police stand near barricades as they prepare to stop protesters on their way to India Gate while demonstrating against the gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi, India, December 27, 2012.
  • People participate in a candle light vigil for the recovery of the young victim of the recent brutal gang-rape in a bus in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2012.
  • A woman is removed by Indian police while protesting against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus in New Delhi, India, December 25, 2012.
  • Police and relatives carry the body of Subhash Tomar, a police man, during his funeral in New Delhi, December 25, 2012. Tomar died after he was injured during a protest over a gang rape in New Delhi.
  • Members of the All India Democratic Students Organization (DSO) hold placards and shout slogans condemning the brutal gang rape of a woman on a moving bus in New Delhi during a protest in Ahmadabad, India, December 24, 2012.
  • Indian police use water cannons to push back protesters during a demonstration near the India Gate against the gang rape and brutal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus last week, in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2012.
  • An Indian man overwhelmed by tear gas lies on the ground during a protest in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2012.
  • A demonstrator holds a placard in front of India Gate as she takes part in a protest rally organized by various women's organisations in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2012.
  • People participate in a candlelight vigil for the fast recovery of a young woman as she fights for her life at a hospital after being brutally raped and tortured, in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2012.

The nearly hour-long rape and beating with iron rods of the 23-year-old female student by a group of men in a moving bus last week has sparked outrage against authorities and police in a city already considered the most unsafe for women. The victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The protestors - mostly students and ordinary people - want speedy justice handed out to the six men who have been arrested in connection with the gang rape. There have been calls for the death penalty. People want better security for women. They are angry that nearly one third of the city's police force is deployed for duty for ministers and senior government officials, reducing those available for actually policing the city.
The protests were smaller and sporadic on Monday, as the police turned the city into a virtual fortress to prevent violent demonstrations during a day-long visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Several metro stations were shut down to prevent people from reaching the heart of the capital - where the earlier protests sparked pitched battles with police, who used tear gas, sticks and water cannons to disperse the crowds. More than 60 protesters and policemen were injured.

An Indian woman, right, part of a group demonstrating against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus, argues with police officers after they were prevented from protesting in New Delhi, India, Dec. 24, 2012.An Indian woman, right, part of a group demonstrating against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus, argues with police officers after they were prevented from protesting in New Delhi, India, Dec. 24, 2012.
An Indian woman, right, part of a group demonstrating against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus, argues with police officers after they were prevented from protesting in New Delhi, India, Dec. 24, 2012.
An Indian woman, right, part of a group demonstrating against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus, argues with police officers after they were prevented from protesting in New Delhi, India, Dec. 24, 2012.
Authorities have promised better policing, with more night patrols. They have also promised to fast-track the trial of those arrested for gang rape in a country where a slow-moving justice system means that trials often drag on for years.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government will consider handing out stiffer penalties for crimes against women. 

“It has been decided to constitute a committee to look into possible amendments so as to provide for speedier justice and enhanced punishment in cases of aggravated sexual assault,” Shinde announced.

But public anger is still running high and authorities will have to do more to assuage a city where, according to police figures, a rape is reported on an average every 18 hours.

Last week, Indian Home Secretary R.K. Singh announced a series of measures to prevent such violence.  He said bus drivers' licenses will be thoroughly checked, tinted or otherwise covered bus windows will be banned, and plainclothes police officers will be deployed on buses.  Authorities will also crack down on drunk driving and those who drink and loiter in New Delhi.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Angela Smith from: Sherman Oaks, CA
January 13, 2013 12:49 AM
Our society has been dealing on how to suppress the sex offenders doings. This will definitely help the community. However we can never be too sure about everything, somehow we have to take some actions to defend ourselves yes, we could protest becuase sometimes justice could never be fair to some situations. We could fight and stand for our right but we could never risk our safety. Our family has been using a security system that will help us protect our selves from any forms of crime, sex offenders and provides help when we need it. This is suitable to be used by the whole family as everyone can benefit it. This is a protection that you can take on your own hand. We don't always have to rely on the system. Sometimes we have to take action. Try to check safetrec this may help a lot.

by: Vasanta from: Dubai
December 27, 2012 4:43 AM
With all due respect to humanity and its supporters:

When a part of the body becomes gangrenous, conservative treatment does not help anymore. It becomes essential to amputate that part so that the ACTUAL person can continue to live. Losing a part of the body is painful, terrible to get used to, but it saved your life. There are diseases that get cured by medicines, there are cancers when removing the cancerous cells is enough, and sometimes removing the organ or part of body is essential. Similarly, people are not demanding for capital punishment, castration, or phallectomy out of fun or for emotional reasons. They placed their trust in the system for long even while suffering through it. Conservative methods are not helping. Even while the protests are going in Delhi, more and more rapes took place, some of them were gang rapes AGAIN!!!

The victims were someone's children too! Half of the victims are children actually!! Will someone please wake up to this ugly reality?

Society and its rules were formed over ages based on what works and what does not, and what should be avoided or should be done for it to work. When someone breaks these rules, we turn towards the legal system we created to take care of it. Just like updation of technology, updation of law, criminal law in particular, should be done. Law penalizes the offenders, and the rapists should be penalized with destruction of their manhood.

When one uses sex for violence and torture instead of love and procreation, he should be denied the use of it completely. Period.

by: Rev Chandananda from: Canada
December 25, 2012 11:04 PM
Both rapists and protesters are in the same boat of EMOTIONAL REACTIVITY. When are we going to earn EMOTIONAL FREEDOM? More than killing rapists, try to help cure their psychological sickness. They too are sons of another woman. What this world needs is love, care and compassion.

by: Vasanta
December 25, 2012 12:48 AM
It is unfortunate that the capital of India does not have enough of public transport. If there were enough of public transport buses in Delhi, the mishap that took place in a private bus would not have happened (its a calculated hope in the least!!). The lack of enough policing and poor infrastructure create ample opportunities for rapists. How would checking for driver licenses periodically help in curbing rape count? Was the driver in this rape case not a licensed one?

Talking about tinted glass and curtains, rape was taking place on the bus floor, could anyone see it through the windows while standing on the road?

There is no fear of punishment among rapists. Statistics show that only 26% of the rape cases in 2010 got conviction and the punishment was jail time only. So those who were acquitted on legal grounds and those who will be released after jail time can still go around raping women, because you are guilty only if it can be proven.

FEAR! - fear of losing manhood is what that will set these people on track. Not castration alone, but phallectomy - Once proven to have committed this crime, a second chance to repeat it should not be given. Punish a few rapists involved in these atrocious rape cases (including child rapes) and I am sure the number of rapes will dip.

Do not buy time on the name of forming committees, researching and deciding what to be done. Oh Govt of India, people of India are telling you what to do, just listen to them for once!!!!!!!!

by: SRP from: US
December 24, 2012 8:03 PM
Don't expect anything from that puppet sardar. You must be lucky he at least opened his mouth to say something (of course he could have done better by at least lying that he will look into the matter and punish guilty and bring in strict laws), don't expect anything more.

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
December 24, 2012 1:39 PM
sorry, seems the Rights Group against death penalty, and 111 countries just vow to remove death penalty.
May be we should think again, to these rapists and the US campus gun shooting murderers, what else punishment would be more proper?
Democracy is a joke!

by: mehran from: india
December 24, 2012 11:10 AM
this is an event that government should research main reason I think India is moving to globalization and this way is danger for traditional societies like India the governor should arrange this situation and has responsible

by: Rev Chandananda from: Canada
December 24, 2012 10:28 AM
Violence is never appeased by violence itself it is only appeased by love and compassion. Whole life-philosophy of society which promotes arrogance and violence in many forms should be changed. Just punishment for these culprits is not enough.

by: nathan hand from: independence mo
December 24, 2012 8:55 AM
Indina will set a supernatural influence around the world should they decide to excuite these rapeist immeadiately after a court hearing and found guility . Rapeist , murderest and kidnapper will think twice before deciding to carrie out such a crime
In Response

by: AgentGG from: Austin, TX USA
December 24, 2012 11:44 PM
Please inform yourself better before posting such blather. The death penalty has been proven to not be a deterrent to crime, of any sort. The fallacy you are making is attributing criminals with a rational ability to judge the consequences of their actions, which does not occur during crimes. Rational people do not engage in sexual abuse, so rational penalties will not stop them.

You have to look much deeper at the lakhs of young men who have no chance to ever marry or even have a lasting relationship with a female. You have to look at 940 females to 1000 males born and realize that this is a self-destructive path for any society, and that the treatment of women in public is a symptom of that. And you have to look at traditional patriarchy in India and how it has always robbed women of their civil rights. It's a big issue.
In Response

by: .. from: usa
December 24, 2012 3:22 PM
Will you please pick up a dictionary and learn how to spell some of these words that you're butchering?
In Response

by: Mao from: Patna
December 24, 2012 1:25 PM
How about including dishonest poiticians in the list. They have been raping Mother India all these years!

by: Honestly from: NYC
December 24, 2012 8:44 AM
Arrest as many as you can and then let woman perform public castration of these cowards , film at 11
Comments page of 2

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs