Hundreds demand stricter anti-rape laws, victim critical in Singapore hospital

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Hundreds of protesters, mostly young people, came out on the streets Thursday after two days of relative peace, demanding strict rape laws, even as the gang-rape victim was in "an extremely critical condition" in a Singapore hospital.

The 23-year-old victim was admitted to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore early Thursday after her condition deteriorated in the Safdarjung Hospital here. Hospital chief executive Kelvin Loh said in a statement in the evening that the young woman remains in "an extremely critical condition".

"Prior to her arrival, she has already undergone three abdominal surgeries and experienced a cardiac arrest in India," said Loh.

"A multi-disciplinary team of specialists is taking care of her and doing everything possible to stabilise her condition."

The young woman was admitted in Safdarjung Hospital since Dec 16. She was flown out late Wednesday night to Singapore accompanied by her parents and a team of doctors from India.

Hundreds of protesters, mostly women, held a sit-in demonstration in the capital to demand better safety and security for women in the country.

The protesters had started their march from Nizamuddin in south Delhi and were headed towards India Gate, the venue of massive protests and violence on Sunday, but were stopped on way by policemen.

The protesters, under the banner of 'Justice for Women Now' - a forum of women activists and NGOs - staged a sit-in near India Gate. They raised slogans such as "Ignore my lipstick and listen to what I'm telling you", "Justice for all rape survivors", "Hanging is not a solution to woman assault" and "Remove Delhi Police commissioner".

Besides demanding justice for the rape victim, the angry crowd also demanded that all rape victims be given justice within 100 days.

They also demanded that the government should call a special session of parliament to discuss stringent rape laws.

The national capital has been witnessing anti-rape protests at India Gate after the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist was tortured and raped in a moving bus Dec 16.

The controversy over the death of a policeman following Sunday's violent protests took a fresh turn Thursday with another "witness" turning up, with a story backing the Delhi Police claim of injuries to the policeman.

The three, who said they were witness to constable Subhash Chand Tomar collapsing, were questioned by the crime branch of Delhi Police Thursday.

Yogendra Tomar, a journalism student, and Pauline, a witness in her 20s, have both said the constable collapsed while chasing the crowd and that he was not beaten or trampled upon by the protesters.

The third witness, Salim Alvi, 31, claimed that Tomar was beaten up by protesters.

Constable Tomar, 47, collapsed near Tilak Marg during the anti-rape protest around India Gate Sunday and died of cardiac arrest early Tuesday.

The case of the constable's death was handed over to crime branch Wednesday.

The post-mortem report of the policeman said he had multiple injuries on his neck and chest.

T.S. Sidhu, medical superintendent at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where Tomar died, had said Wednesday that the constable had "no major external injury marks except for some cuts on his right knee and bruises on his chest" and "was brought here in a total collapsed stage".

Delhi Police have asked the hospital to provide the medical reports based on which Sidhu said Tomar had no external injuries.

Police are also collecting video footage from news channels to establish the sequence of events during the protest on Dec 23.

  • How a mom stole a car in under 60 seconds 16 hours ago
    How a mom stole a car in under 60 seconds

    “I didn't steal your car but I think my mom may have. It's a long story. I'll explain, but your car is safe and sound," read the flier posted in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s a strange tale that began when Cheyrl Thorpe was asked by her daughter Nekisia Davis to dog sit her Pomeranian at her apartment, according to New York Magazine.

  • All-new 2015 Subaru Outback reestablishes higher ground 18 hours ago
    All-new 2015 Subaru Outback reestablishes higher ground

    Much of Subaru’s modern day success in America can be attributed to one car: the Outback. Born in 1994 as a response to the growing popularity of SUVs, the Outback established a winning formula of combining a high-riding suspension, butch body cladding and big round fog lights to its comfortable, no-nonsense Legacy wagon. It is the kind of unique product that only a quirky company like Subaru could build, and was one that kept Subaru from slipping into ubiquity even as traditional SUVs and crossovers have taken over the world.

  • Custom faux-tique electric tram aims to replace New York's horses over the neigh-sayers 19 hours ago
    Custom faux-tique electric tram aims to replace New York's horses over the neigh-sayers

    For the record, it's the year 2014. I mention that in case someone reading this story about a push to replace horses with motorized carriages thinks they've stumbled onto some archival piece by accident. It's been more than 100 years since the first vehicles began to trundle around Manhattan, but the last remaining vestiges of horse-powered transport in the city could be nigh — if the backers of a massive electric wagon get their way.

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry
    Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...