Demon­stra­tors call for death penalty for six sus­pects in case.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Ashok Sharma

Po­lice in the cap­i­tal use tear gas and water can­nons to break up thou­sands of peo­ple demon­strat­ing against the gang rape and beat­ing of a 23year-old stu­dent on a bus.

NEW DELHI — Po­lice in In­dia’s cap­i­tal used tear gas and water can­nons for a sec­ond day Sun­day in a high-se­cu­rity zone to break up protests by thou­sands of peo­ple demon­strat­ing against the gang rape and beat­ing of a 23year-old stu­dent on a bus.

Po­lice with ba­tons chased an­gry pro­test­ers, some of whom fought pitched bat­tles with steel rods and rocks as they tried to get past steel bar­ri­cades and a wall cre­ated by hun­dreds of po­lice­men to reach the pres­i­dent’s man­sion to present their de­mands. “We want jus­tice,” they shouted.

Tele­vi­sion footage showed that some pro­test­ers were in­jured in the clashes.

The pro­test­ers made bon­fires and dam­aged cars and po­lice ve­hi­cles.

Po­lice blamed the vi­o­lence on hooli­gans. “A peace­ful protest by peo­ple has been taken over by hooli­gans,” Dhar­men­dra Ku­mar, a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer, told re­porters. He urged peo­ple to go home to help po­lice deal with the trou­ble mak­ers.

The demon­stra­tions con­tin­ued Sun­day de­spite Home Min­is­ter Sushil- ku­mar Shinde promis­ing to con­sider their main de­mand for death penal­ties for all six sus­pects who have been ar­rested by po­lice fol­low­ing the Dec. 16 at­tack.

Shinde said Satur­day night that the government was tak­ing steps to bet­ter en­sure the safety of women.

A group of pro­test­ers met So­nia Gandhi, the gov­ern­ing Congress party chief, and her son and law­maker Rahul Gandhi, on Sun­day and de­manded a speedy trial of the sus­pects.

Pop­u­lar yoga guru Babar Ramdev stood on the roof of a bus and pledged sup­port to the pro­test­ers. “The government must set up fast- track courts to pun­ish the of­fend­ers in rape at­tacks,” he said.

The at­tack one week ago has sparked days of protests across the coun­try. The vic­tim is re­cov­er­ing from in­juries in a New Delhi government hospi­tal but is still in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Af­ter bat­tling the pro­test­ers through­out the day Satur­day, au­thor­i­ties early Sun­day banned their en­try into the high­se­cu­rity zone, which also houses the of­fices of the prime min­is­ter and de­fense, home and ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istries. Po­lice evicted dozens of pro­test­ers who had spent the night there.

How­ever, as groups of pro­test­ers marched through the streets of New Delhi and be­gan con­verg­ing on the high-se­cu­rity area Sun­day, au­thor­i­ties with­drew the ban on the as­sem­bly of more than five peo­ple there. But it set up bar­ri­cades to keep them away from the pres­i­dent’s res­i­dence.


A pro­tester on Sun­day kicks a tear­gas can­is­ter dur­ing a demon­stra­tion in New Delhi against the gang rape and bru­tal beat­ing of a 23-year-old stu­dent on a bus last week

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