Ottawa Citizen

10 men as­sault woman in In­dia

At­tack fol­lows days of protests

- FRAN­CIS EL­LIOTT

DELHI • In­dia’s government and po­lice squab­bled Wed­nes­day over who was to blame for fail­ing to pro­tect women against sex­ual vi­o­lence af­ter an­other gang rape.

Ten men are re­ported to have at­tacked a 20-year-old woman on a river bank in the south­ern state of Tamil Nadu on Christ­mas Eve.

The as­sault came af­ter days of protests in Delhi prompted by the gang rape of a 23-yearold med­i­cal stu­dent on a mov­ing bus in the cap­i­tal on Dec. 16. The vic­tim suf­fered in­ter­nal in­juries af­ter be­ing as­saulted for an hour, and is in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

The at­tack pre­cip­i­tated pub­lic fury at a sys­tem widely judged as un­re­spon­sive and in­sen­si­tive in the face of ris­ing lev­els of vi­o­lence against women.

Po­lice used tear gas and water can­non as the protests, or­ga­nized by stu­dent groups, turned vi­o­lent, lead­ing to a three-day shut­down of In­dia’s na­tional ad­min­is­tra­tive district. One con­sta­ble died on Tues­day, re­port­edly as a re­sult of the demon­stra­tions, although there were claims that he had suf­fered a heart at­tack.

An ap­peal for calm by Man­mo­han Singh, In­dia’s prime min­is­ter, was fol­lowed Wed­nes­day by the an­nounce­ment of a spe­cial in­quiry into the Delhi rape. The judgeled in­ves­ti­ga­tion will fo­cus “on the lapses of the po­lice,” P. Chi­dambaram, the fi­nance min­is­ter, said. It has been al­leged that po­lice­men tried to pre­vent the 23-yearold woman from hav­ing her tes­ti­mony filmed.

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