Jolted by Dec.16 gang-rape, Delhi women learn self-defence tactics

New Delhi, Jan 2 (ANI): Following the death of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, a martial arts trainer is giving self-defence lessons to young women in Delhi.

Poonam Chopra, a 1994 Asian Games bronze winning judoka, organised the session here yesterday. She said that with the government failing to protect women, initiatives like hers would help reduce risks that all girls face.

"Children should be trained in martial arts and self defence at their schools, colleges and in residential localities, because, at the very least, it gives them the confidence to escape unwanted sexual advances. Girls who play sports are given less trouble, because the offender is aware that they are stronger," she added.

The move comes after a 23 year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped and brutally assaulted allegedly by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 night. She died from her injuries on December 29 at a Singapore hospital.

The attack prompted street protests across India, international outrage and promises from the government of tougher punishments for offenders.

In the continuing wave of nationwide protests, residents of Ludhiana marched with candles and posters, demanding strict action against the rapists.

"We are staging this vigil to show the world that Indians are not passive and can raise their voice over important issues. We want that the severest punishment be given to the rapists," said Shikha, a student. (ANI)