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Canadians protest for India women after gang rape

05 january 2013, 13:33
Protesters have rallied in two of Canada's main cities in solidarity with women in India after the deadly gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi sparked outrage, AFP reports.

Dozens of people marched Thursday in the country's largest city Toronto, calling on India to do more to prevent the abuse of women. The night before, dozens held a candlelight vigil in a snowstorm outside parliament in Ottawa.

The Toronto group delivered a letter to the Indian consulate in that city, signed by 200 Canadians expressing their concerns.

"It is important for us to be here today to show our concern and care that we have for humanity," one of the Toronto protest organizers, Kalpana Pareek, told AFP.

"India is a growing country, we have no excuse to treat women like that. The Indian community here needs to wake up. It is easy to blame and complain, but we are all responsible," said another protester of Indian descent.

According to the last census, there are nearly one million Canadians of Indian descent.

In India on Thursday, five men aged between 19 and 35 were formally charged with murder and rape in connection with the brutal December 16 assault of a 23-year-old student aboard a moving bus in the capital.

The suspects would face the death penalty if convicted of the crime, which sparked mass protests in cities across India, with demonstrators demanding that authorities take sex crimes more seriously and work harder to punish offenders.

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