* Rape victim's body taken to family house in New Delhi
* Attack has triggered outrage, protests
* New Delhi still locked down after peaceful protests
* Six suspects charged with murder
By Adnan Abidi
NEW DELHI, Dec 30 The body of a woman whose gang
rape provoked protests and rare national debate about violence
against women in India arrived back in New Delhi in the early
hours of Sunday morning.
The unidentified 23-year-old medical student died from her
injuries on Saturday, prompting promises of action from a
government that has struggled to respond to public outrage.
She had suffered brain injuries and massive internal damage
in the attack on Dec. 16, and died in hospital in Singapore
where she had been taken for treatment.
She and a male friend had been returning home from the
cinema, media reports say, when six men on a bus beat them with
metal rods and repeatedly raped the woman. The friend survived.
Six suspects were charged with murder after her death.
A Reuters correspondent saw family members who had been with
her in Singapore take her body back to their Delhi home in an
ambulance with a police escort.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's convoy was at the
airport when the plane landed and left soon afterwards, the
The outcry over the attack caught the government off-guard.
It took a week for Singh to make a statement, infuriating many
Issues such as rape, dowry-related deaths and female
infanticide rarely enter mainstream political discourse in
Analysts say the death of the woman dubbed "Amanat", an Urdu
word meaning "treasure", by some Indian media could change that,
although it is too early to say whether the protesters calling
for government action to better safeguard women can sustain
their momentum through to national elections due in 2014.
Protesters have staged peaceful demonstrations in the
capital New Delhi and in cities across India in the last few
days to keep the pressure on Singh's government to get tougher
on crimes against women. Last weekend protesters fought pitched
battles with police.
Authorities, worried about the reaction to the news of her
death on Saturday, deployed thousands of policemen, closed 10
metro stations and banned vehicles from some main roads in
central New Delhi.
Most sex crimes in India go unreported, many offenders go
unpunished, and the wheels of justice turn slowly, according to
social activists, who say that successive governments have done
little to ensure the safety of women.
Commentators and sociologists say the rape has tapped into a
deep well of frustration many Indians feel over what they see as
weak governance and poor leadership on social issues.
New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among
India's major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18
hours, according to police figures. Government data show the
number of reported rape cases in India rose by nearly 17 percent
between 2007 and 2011.