Dozens of protesters tried to break through a police cordon Sunday and march to the Parliament building in the Indian capital but were pushed back. The protesters, belonging to the student wing of main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, shouted anti-government slogans as they marched.
Hundreds of policemen have sealed off the high-security area, where the seat of India‘s government is located, in anticipation of more protests. The area is home to Parliament, the president’s palace, the prime minister’s office and several ministries.
Mrs. Gandhi assured the protesters in a statement that the rape victim’s death “deepens our determination to battle the pervasive, the shameful social attitudes and mindset that allow men to rape and molest women and girls with such an impunity.”
Attitudes by Indians toward rape are so entrenched that even politicians and opinion makers often have suggested that women should not go out at night or wear clothes that might be seen as provocative.
Meanwhile, a statement from the United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “offers his sincerest condolences” to the victim’s family and “utterly condemns this brutal crime.”
“Violence against women must never be accepted, never excused, never tolerated,” the statement said. “Every girl and woman has the right to be respected, valued and protected.”
Mr. Ban urged the Indian government to take steps to deter such crimes, bring perpetrators to justice and “strengthen critical services for rape victims,” it said.