Body of India rape victim cremated in New Delhi
By Adnan Abidi and Devidutta Tripathy
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The body of a woman, whose gang rape provoked protests and rare national debate about violence against women in India, arrived back in New Delhi on Sunday and was cremated at a private ceremony.
Scuffles broke out in central Delhi between police and protesters who say the government is doing too little to protect women. But the 2,000-strong rally was confined to a single area, unlike last week when protests raged up throughout the capital.
Riot police manned barricades along streets leading to India Gate war memorial - a focal point for demonstrators - and, at another gathering point - the centuries-old Jantar Mantar - protesters held banners reading "We want justice!" and "Capital punishment".
Most sex crimes in India go unreported, many offenders go unpunished, and the wheels of justice turn slowly, according to social activists, who say that successive governments have done little to ensure the safety of women.
The unidentified 23-year-old victim of the December 16 gang rape died of her injuries on Saturday, prompting promises of action from a government that has struggled to respond to public outrage.
The medical student had suffered brain injuries and massive internal injuries in the attack and died in hospital in Singapore where she had been taken for treatment.
She and a male friend had been returning home from the cinema, media reports say, when six men on a bus beat them with metal rods and repeatedly raped the woman. The friend survived.
New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India's major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, police figures show. Reported rape cases rose by nearly 17 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to government data. Continued...