In­dian protesters seek end to sex­ual vi­o­lence against women

The Sault Star - - WORLD NEWS -

NEW DELHI — Thou­sands of peo­ple protested across In­dia on Sun­day to seek an end to sex­ual vi­o­lence against women, which has been on the rise in the coun­try.

Car­ry­ing ban­ners and plac­ards, protesters marched in New Delhi, Mum­bai and other cities, de­mand­ing that In­dia’s gov­ern­ment quickly pros­e­cute rape sus­pects. Can­dle­light vig­ils were also held in some places.

The out­rage was trig­gered by the rape and mur­der of an 8-yearold girl in the In­dian-con­trolled por­tion of Kash­mir and the ab­duc­tion and rape of a teenage girl in In­dia’s north­ern Ut­tar Pradesh state.

Many protesters ex­pressed par­tic­u­lar anger at In­dia’s rul­ing Hindu na­tion­al­ist party for ini­tially sid­ing with the ac­cused in the Kash­mir case. The young vic­tim was a Mus­lim and the ac­cused are Hin­dus.

A total of at least nine sus­pects, in­clud­ing a law­maker from the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party and four po­lice of­fi­cials, have been ar­rested in the two cases.

Vi­o­lent crime against women has been on the rise in In­dia de­spite tough laws en­acted in 2013. In 2012, the fa­tal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi trig­gered mas­sive protests by hun­dreds of thou­sands to de­mand stricter rape laws in the coun­try.

The out­rage over the New Delhi attack spurred quick ac­tion on leg­is­la­tion dou­bling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and crim­i­nal­iz­ing voyeurism, stalk­ing and the traf­fick­ing of women. In­dian law­mak­ers also voted to lower to 16 from 18 the age at which a per­son can be tried as an adult for heinous crimes.

ASH­WINI BHA­TIA/AP PHOTO

In­dian women shout slo­gans dur­ing a protest gath­er­ing or­ga­nized by a non gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion to con­demn vi­o­lence against women in Dharm­sala, In­dia, on Sun­day.

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