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Police tear-gas Delhi gang-rape protest

December 22, 2012

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Indian activists belonging to various rights organisations hold placards while they stage a demonstration in Bangalore on Dec 21, 2012, condemning the recent gang rape in New Delhi. — Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian police Saturday baton-charged and tear-gassed people demonstrating in the wake of the brutal gang-rape of a female student on a bus last weekend.

The protesters, who gathered outside the India Gate monument in the heart of New Delhi, were demanding better safety across the country, which has recently seen a slew of violent attacks on women.

Television footage showed protesters shouting “we want justice” as police struggled to control the crowd who were smashing flower pots and other symbols of the capital's beautification drive.

India's government, facing swelling protests over the gang-rape, vowed on Friday to press for life sentences for her six attackers and promised stricter policing.

Home Secretary R.K. Singh also said the government would pay the medical bills of the 23-year-old victim, who is fighting for her life after suffering serious injuries to her intestines in the attack on Sunday night.

Six drunken men were joyriding on a bus when they picked up the physiotherapy student and her 28-year-old male companion and took turns raping her. Afterwards, they threw the pair off the speeding vehicle.

Police say the woman was attacked with an iron rod after being raped.

Experts say a combination of abusive sexual behaviour, a scant fear of the law and India's creaky judicial system encourage such attacks in the bustling city of 19 million people.

Five of the suspects were arrested soon after the crime and a sixth was only caught Friday, the Press Trust of India reported.