Public outcry mounts — students, residents take to streets in protest

The brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedic student, who is currently battling for life in a city hospital here, continued to trigger outrage across the country and even rattled the Parliament on Tuesday.

The National and the State Commissions for Women slammed police for their laxity in providing protection to women while the National Human Rights Commission said the incident has "raised the issue of declining public confidence in the law and order machinery in Delhi".

Woman and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath on Tuesday wrote to the Home Minister and Delhi Chief Minister, demanding increase in police presence and verification of bus staff before issuing permits.

Admitting failure on part of the police, Tirath said "action will be taken if there has been a shortcoming." The victim was studying at a medical institute in Uttarakhand and had come to Delhi for her internship.

Expressing shock over the incident, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna on Tuesday offered financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh for the treatment of the woman, who is on ventilator support at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.

The NHRC on Tuesday termed the incident a "grave violation of human rights" and issued notices to the Union Home Secretary and the Delhi Police Commissioner, asking them to submit a report on the incident within two weeks.

While chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Barkha Singh said the guilty should be given the most stringent punishment equivalent to death sentence, NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma called for police to be "more sensitive" and take action in a way "that such crimes could be stopped".

"This most obnoxious act of repeatedly outraging the modesty of a girl and assaulting her with the clear intention to murder, tantamount to an act of horrendous nature inviting a clear punishment as harsh as death sentence ," Singh said.

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