Protesters demonstrating against the gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi were met with police shooting water canons and tear gas as they attempted to break through barricades and march on the presidential palace.
The crowd of thousands of demonstrators is made up largely of college students who are demanding the death penalty for the five accused rapists as well as stronger safety measures for women in the country, according to Reuters.
The victim of India's most recent horrific gang rape, who has not been named and is currently recovering from severe injuries in the intensive care unit at a Delhi hospital, has sparked large protests.
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She was allegedly beaten, raped, and thrown out of a moving bus on a busy street last Sunday in New Delhi, which has the highest rate of sex crimes of any city in India, Reuters reported.
"Today, I have seen democracy dying," a young female protester, whose leg was reportedly injured by a police baton, told CNN.
Rajan Bhagat, New Delhi's police spokesman, said up to 35 protesters and nearly 40 police personnel were injured, according to CNN.
On Saturday, India's Congress president Sonia Gandhi spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take immediate action, the Times of India reported.
"It is a shame for us, who are responsible for the security of our cities that a young woman can be raped in a moving bus in the capital of the country and flung on to the street," Gandhi said in a letter to Indian officials.
The Indian government has reportedly created a special judicial commission on women's safety, NDTV reported, and sources say that legal amendments to allow the death penalty for rare rape cases are being considered.
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