India Shuts Roads, Metro to Avoid Rape Protests

Posted December 24th, 2012 at 6:25 am (UTC-5)
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Indian officials closed roads and metro stations Monday in central New Delhi, in an effort to put an end to the massive demonstrations about the brutal gang rape and beating last week of a 23-year-old female student.

Police barricaded the roads leading to India Gate, an imposing Arc de Triomphe-style war memorial in the center of the capital, that has become a hub of the protests.

India's prime minister on Monday called for calm and vowed to protect women as he sought to tamp down growing public outrage over the incident that happened in New Delhi.

Manmohan Singh, in a televised address more than a week after the rape, assured the nation that justice would be “delivered in this case” and urged Indians to “maintain peace and calm.”

Protests about the brutal attack have taken place across the country for several days. Many protesters are demanding the death penalty for the six suspects now in detention.

Police in the capital Sunday used tear gas and water cannons for a second day on demonstrators demanding speedy action against the suspects.

The rape victim was attacked last Sunday after she and a male friend were given a ride on a bus in New Delhi. She remains hospitalized with severe injuries. Despite her condition, she was able to give a statement to police Saturday.

More than 600 cases of rape have been reported in New Delhi so far this year, one of the highest rates in the country.