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Call for justice grows, 2 more accused held

New Delhi, Dec 21, 2012, DHNS: 1:39 IST

Rape victim still critical; HC slams police

An young Indian girl holds a placard as she participates in a protest against the inefficiency of government in punishing rapists as the conviction rate in the entire country remains extremely low, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. The hours-long gang-rape and near-fatal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi recently has triggered outrage and anger across the country as Indians demanded action from authorities who have long ignored persistent violence and harassment against women. AP
Hundreds of people thronged streets throughout the day to stage protests demanding speedy trial as the brutally gang-raped and tortured physiotherapist is battling for her life at Safdarjung Hospital. A student even tried to barge into Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Women students, activists and students from Jawaharlal Nehru University staged a demonstration outside Rashtrapati Bhavan demanding harsh punishment for the perpetrators. Similar protests took place at India Gate, outside the Safdarjung Hospital and Jantar Mantar.

Faced with public outrage, the investigators on Friday took a sigh of relief after the search of two absconding accused ended.

They were located and nabbed at their home town. The police on Thursday night located Raju from his hideouts nearby his home town in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh and brought him to the national capital. Another accused Akshay Thakur was nabbed from Aurangabad in Bihar on Friday and is on his way for Delhi. All the accused has been arrested in the case.

Apart from shouting slogans, protesters flashed placards which read, “My body, my right,” “Rape is ape: have you evolved?” and “Rape is only crime where victim becomes accused.”

Outside Rashtrapati Bhavan, a student tried to enter inside the premises but she was nabbed by the police. Heavy policing was seen at the North Block which has many ministries including the Prime Ministers’ Office. The protesters later marched towards the India Gate.

By evening, the numbers at Jantar Mantar and the India Gate swelled to thousands and protesters waved Indian flags and demanded strict punishment for rapists.

Another group led by Arvind Kejrwal and his Aam Aadmi Party members demonstrated at Jantar Mantar where a few victims recounted their experiences about the problems they have been facing in getting justice. During evening, they gathered outside Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s residence and staged a candle light protest.

While thousands are praying for 23-year-old student, she is now off the ventilator, but has been showing mixed response since morning, said doctors at Safdarjung Hospital.
“We are seeing early signs of infection settling in her body. But she has been showing a mixed response since morning as there are signs of both improvement and deterioration. Her WBC (white blood cell) count is 1,500, which is low, meaning she is prone to infections,” said Dr B D Athani, medical superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital.

Her male friend met her for the first time in hospital, during which she inquired from him about the accused. He told her that the accused have been arrested when he met her on Thursday night, the girl’s brother said on Friday.“On Thursday around 9 pm, the friend of my sister came to visit her. This was the first time that both were meeting after the incident. He met for her for five minutes,” the brother said.

Her brother also told the 28-year-old engineer that in the entire course of her treatment, she kept asking doctors about him and his condition.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court pulled up the Delhi Police and said it is not “convinced” with the status report filed by them which did not mention the details of the police patrolling the area where the victim was gang-raped in a moving bus.

A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, after going through the report, said: “We, in the earlier order, directed the commissioner of police to file a report giving details of police officials patrolling in the area and the action taken by police in this aspect. On the above aspect, a report is filed. We have gone through the report and we are not convinced. None of the details of the police officials has been mentioned."

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