Thousands protest in Indian capital after gang-rape

Water cannons are fired at protesters in New Delhi. Credit: Sanjay Jha

Police in Indian capital New Delhi today baton-charged, tear-gassed and fired water cannon at young protesters who had gathered to demand better safety for women following the brutal gang-rape of a student last weekend.

Thousands of protesters - who rallied at the Indian capital's central square India Gate and started surging towards the Prime Minister's office and the President’s palace - were calling for stepped-up security for women across the country.

Angry protesters, demonstrating for a sixth day, shouted “We want justice,” as police struggled to control the crowd. The 23-year-old gang-rape victim is still battling for her life in a New Delhi hospital.

Protesters are calling for improved safety for women in India. Credit: Sanjay Jha

The protesters, largely comprising of college students, had spontaneously gathered and police found it difficult to disperse the swelling crowd. The protests are growing amid widespread media coverage. By evening a large crowd had gathered and stalemate continues.

Thousands gathered for the protests in New Delhi. Credit: Sanjay Jha

Earlier in the day several rounds of teargas shells and water cannons were used as young students, demanding justice for the 23-year-old gang-rape victim clashed, with police at the Raisina Hill, the seat of power.

Tear gas was also thrown in a bid to disperse the protesters in New Delhi. Credit: Sanjay Jha

Repeated firing of shells and water jets failed to dampen the spirit of several hundreds of young students, both girls and boys, as they tried to breach the police barricades to march towards towards the President's Palace for the second day of protests against the government and police "inaction".