Bus Outrage Protests in India Over Fatal Gang Rape (PHOTOS)
Demonstrations erupted across India after a group of men beat and brutally raped a young woman on a bus on Dec. 18. See photos from New Delhi, Kolkata and more cities of two weeks of protests in support of the 23-year-old, who later died in a Singapore hospital.
On Dec. 18, a 23-year-old student boarded a bus with her boyfriend in New Delhi, India, and was brutally raped and beaten by a group of men aboard the vehicle. They threw her from the bus, and repeatedly tried to run her over, but she hung on to life. She was transfered to a hospital in Singapore, but died of her injuries at the end of December, and was cremated in India—her ashes scattered over the Ganges. Her assault sparked protests calling for reform across India, with thousands demonstrating against the crime and the way women are treated in the country. Here is a look at the last two weeks of activism in the nation.
On Jan. 2, Indian women took to the streets during the Women Dignity march in New Delhi. Several hundred people participated in the solidarity march organized by the Delhi government, which ended at Rajghat, the memorial for slain independence hero Mahatma Gandhi. A released police report showed that the group of rapists tried to run the young woman over after brutally attacking her on a bus.
New Year's Eve was a somber time in India, as the news spread that the Indian woman who had been brutally raped had died of her injuries. During a rally in New Delhi on Dec. 31, protesters lit candles around a mannequin representing the rape victim.
Indian university students shout slogans during a protest march in New Delhi on Dec. 31. After the young woman's death, her family spoke out, saying they would not rest until her killers are hanged.
A crime that united the country in grief inspired a massive public-awareness uprising. Here, an Indian protester holds placards during a rally in New Delhi on Dec. 31.
On Dec. 30, the body of an Indian gang-rape victim was returned to her homeland after she succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Singapore. Hours later, her body was cremated and her ashes scattered over the Ganges. Protests raged in the New Delhi, and female police officials stood guard behind a barrier during a rally.
Protesters wearing brightly colored clothes walk alongside police officers at a rally in New Delhi on Dec. 30, 2012, following the cremation of the gang-rape victim in the Indian capital.
Indian police officials watch protesters from behind a barrier during a rally in New Delhi on Dec. 30. A week earlier, demonstrations had grown violent, but they later became peaceful.
A candlelight vigil is held in Kolkata (Calcutta) after the body of a gang-rape victim was cremated in a private ceremony on Dec. 30. Indian activists take part in the vigil.
An Indian activist prays as she takes part in a candlelight vigil in Kolkata on Dec. 30. The gang-rape victim's parents had requested the cremation ceremony be held away from the public eye.
Anti-riot policemen were dispatched when demonstrations turned violent a week after the brutal rape and beating of the young student in New Delhi. "We have already seen the emotions and energies this incident has generated. These are perfectly understandable reactions from a young India and an India that genuinely desires change," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a condolence message.
Violence marred the first protests in support of India's gang-rape victim, when protesters and policemen clashed during the demonstrations. Here, police and protesters throw stones at each other in New Delhi on Dec. 23. Police in India's capital used tear gas and water cannons in a high-security zone to break up the thousands who had gathered.
High-pressure water cannons are aimed at protesters near the India Gate as they protest against the gang rape and brutal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus.
An Indian police officer collapses on the ground after being hit by a stone thrown by an activist during protests.
On Dec. 22, thousands of people who tried to march to the presidential palace were met by police brandishing tear gas and water cannons.
The Indian flag flies over thousands of protesters gathered near the presidential palace during a protest in New Delhi.
Indian women hold placards and shout slogans from a flag post near the presidential palace.
People shout slogans as policemen use water cannons to disperse them during a protest in New Delhi. Protesters demanded a death sentence for the perpetrators of the brutal crime, saying life sentences the government pledged to pursue were not harsh enough.
Anger raged throughout the country, and many cities saw massive demonstrations in support of women's safety in the aftermath of the gang rape. Here, an Indian student tries to hit a policeman with an iron rod during a protest.
Protesters keep a single flame alive as others gather to pay their respects to the victim near the president's compound in New Delhi.