Anti-Rape Protests Grow in Delhi As State Chief Joins Demonstrators

Category: World / Jan 02, 2013 11:27AM EDT
Residents of India's national capital braved the cold and turned out in large numbers for an anti-rape protest march called by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday (January 02). India's politicians have been caught off guard by widespread protests triggered by the gang rape of a 23-year woman on a moving bus in the capital. For the first time, they head into national elections due by May 2014 with women's rights as an issue. The march was headed up by Dikshit and the key members of her provincial government. Beaten and raped by five men and a teenager on December 16, the victim died from her injuries on Saturday (December 29), her plight shaking the conscience of many urban middle class Indians who consider gender rights as important as poverty alleviation. Police confirmed on Tuesday they would push for the death penalty for her attackers. The case also cast a spotlight on an epidemic of violence against women in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.