Indians react angrily to violent gang rape of student, 23, in New Delhi (VIDEO)


Indian women shout slogans during a protest following the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi on December 18, 2012.



Indians are reacting angrily to the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi, holding protests while police and lawmakers have demanded the death penalty for the rapists.

The Indian parliament was  in uproar over the incident, in which the student and a male friend were reportedly beaten with an iron rod, stripped and thrown off a bus in south Delhi late Sunday.

Although according to NPR, rape is "a problem throughout India, there is also the sense that the national capital is becoming increasingly unsafe.

Sunday's attack was particularly brutal, NPR wrote, with the woman undergoing multiple operations and remaining in a serious condition.

According to the Indian Express, the bus was driven around for more than an hour during the attack and passed three police patrol vans.

Police have reportedly arrested four suspects including the driver of the private bus.

The New Delhi police chief has joined several lawmakers in demanding the death penalty for rapists, India's Daily Times reported.

Rape currently carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

The Daily Times quoted Sushma Swaraj, leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, as saying: 

"What has the government done to curb rape cases? The rapists should be hanged. We need tougher laws to stop rapes."

An editorial in The Times of India called for the establishment of special courts to hear rape cases "on a priority basis."

The paper ran a story under the headline "City Shamed," which said the incident was a "new low for a city already notorious as India's rape capital."

Meanwhile, demonstrators at protests in New Delhi and elsewhere blamed lax policing for rising crime against women.

One woman in a protest outside the police station where the accused were held said:

"Everyday, Indian women are facing violence on the streets. We feel so unsafe. The culprits should be given the strictest punishment via fast-track courts so it deters such crimes."