Police clash with Delhi gang rape protesters

Demonstrators react as police unleash water cannon during a protest calling for better safety for women following the rape of a student last week, in front of the Government Secretariat and Presidential Palace in New Delhi on Dec 22, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP 

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian police on Saturday baton-charged, tear-gassed and fired water canon at demonstrators who were demanding better safety for women following the gang rape of a female student last weekend.

Thousands of protesters, who rallied at the India Gate monument in the heart of the Indian capital, were calling for stepped up security for women across the country and changes to the way crimes against women are prosecuted.

Angry protesters, demonstrating for a sixth day, shouted "We want justice" and "Hang the rapists" as police struggled to control the crowd, with the young victim still battling for her life in a New Delhi hospital.

Six drunken men were joyriding on a bus when they picked up the physiotherapy student and her 28-year-old male companion and took turns raping her. Afterwards, they threw the pair off the speeding vehicle. Five of the suspects were arrested soon after the crime and a sixth was caught on Friday.

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