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.
x
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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: prax26 from: USA
December 24, 2012 8:06 AM
Put them on trial, and when found guilty - execute them, publicly.
If only the United States would take this stance, there would be less violent rapes, and certainly less repeat offenders.

by: Cherry from: NYC
December 24, 2012 7:25 AM
India will end up being the world's largest matriarchal dictatorship -- no fair trials prior to execution! Huzzah.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs