NEW DELHI — The gang-rape and near-fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi triggered outrage across the country Wednesday, as Indians demanded action from authorities who have long ignored violence and harassment against women.
In the streets and in Parliament, calls rose for stringent and swift punishment against those who attack women, including a proposal to make rapists eligible for the death penalty. As the calls for action grew louder, two more gang rapes were reported, including one in which the 10-year-old victim was killed.
Thousands of demonstrators clogged the streets in front of New Delhi’s police headquarters and protested near Parliament. Hundreds rallied outside the home of the city’s top elected official before police dispersed them with water cannons.
As protests raged, at least two girls were gang raped, with one of them killed.
A 23-year-old victim was in critical condition, doctors said. Police said that six men raped the woman, and that four men have been arrested.