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New Delhi: Defiant protests for women's safety

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New Delhi: Defiant protests for women's safety
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Thousands of Indians protested on the streets of New Delhi to demand better safety measures for women, a week after a young student was gang-raped and thrown out of a moving bus.

The latest street protest came even though the government had banned gatherings of more than five people to try to put the brakes on the increasingly angry outbursts.

The 23-year-old is critically ill in hospital. Her ordeal ignited public fury in a city where rape is frighteningly commonplace. Official crime figures show an attack is reported every 18 hours.

Some protesters hid under police vehicles calling for justice. They want authorities to act to make the city safer for women. Some even want the death penalty for rapists.

The head of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, felt the pressure from the streets and emerged from her home after midnight to talk to the protesters.

Officials have promised more police patrols covering workplaces and entertainment districts, the installation of electronic measures on public transport, and fast-track courts to ensure quick verdicts in rape and sexual assault cases.

So far there is no official timetable for the proposed changes.