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India

Indian protesters clash with police over gang rape

Police in India have used force to hold back hundreds of protesters demanding justice after the gang rape and beating of a young woman last weekend. Public anger over the brutal assault is testing the government.

Demonstrators hold placards in front of the India Gate as they take part in a protest rally organised by various women's organisations in New Delhi December 21, 2012. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in various parts of the country to demand urgent action against the men who took turns to rape a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus on December 16, local media reports said. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST)

Indien Demonstration Vergewaltigung Bus

The protesters took to the streets of India's capital, New Delhi, demanding authorities take tougher action to protect women against daily threats of harassment and violence.

Police struggled to control the crowd, which was shouting "we want justice" and "hang the rapists," and used tear gas and water cannon to hold the demonstrators back. Some suffered injuries after they tried to break through barricades and march towards the presidential mansion.

It's the latest show of public anger after days of protests sparked by the attack on December 16. The 23-year-old victim was beaten and gang raped in a moving bus traveling around New Delhi, then thrown from the vehicle along with her male companion. At least five men have been arrested.

The young woman is in hospital fighting for her life, after suffering severe injuries to her intestines during the brutal assault.

India's government has vowed to bring the woman's attackers to justice, and on Friday announced a broad campaign to protect women in New Delhi.

A former chief of the Indian army, V. K. Singh, joined Saturday's protest and called for immediate reforms to tackle the problem.

"This problem is because of systemic failure of governance. Police reforms have been lying in cold storage for the last so many years," he told the news agency AFP.

jr/bk (AFP, AP, Reuters)