Indian officials are vowing to take measures to better protect women following the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in the capital.
Police have so far arrested five people in connection with Sunday's attack and said Friday that they are searching for a sixth assailant. The suspects are accused of rape and attempted murder, with police seeking life imprisonment for the perpetrators.
The woman was attacked after she and a male friend were given a ride on a chartered bus in New Delhi. Officials say a group of men raped her and beat both of the victims with an iron rod, later stripping them and dumping them on the road. The woman remains hospitalized with severe internal injuries.
Indian Home Secretary R.K. Singh on Friday 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.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters in the Indian capital marched to the presidential mansion on Friday, demanding strong action against those accused in the attack and better protection for women against violence and harassment.
More than 600 cases of rape have been reported in New Delhi so far this year, one of the highest rates in the country.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
On Thursday, an Indian think tank released a study revealing that 27 political candidates have been accused of raping women. The Association for Democratic Reforms did not, however, record how many of the accused have been found guilty.
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.