About 60 people outraged at the violent gang rape and subsequent death of a young woman in New Delhi demonstrated in downtown Toronto to demand action from the Indian government.
The demonstrators gathered at the intersection of Bloor and Bay streets Thursday afternoon. They marched in silence to the Indian consulate at 365 Bloor St. E. and delivered a petition signed by more than 200 people.
Organizers said it's not just members of the Indo-Canadian community who are outraged by the crime; rather there is universal anger about the attack.
"The community is outraged and had to do something," said organizer Kalpana Pareek.
The protesters wanted to raise awareness about violence against women and want the Indian government to do more to stop it. The demonstration comes amid a wave of worldwide outrage stemming from the attack in India's capital last month.
Earlier Thursday, rape and murder charges were filed against five men accused of the gang rape of the 23-year-old student.
The woman, who died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital Saturday, was attacked Dec. 16 after boarding a bus with a male companion after watching an evening showing of the movie Life of Pi at an upscale mall.
The pair were attacked for hours as the bus drove through the city, even passing through police checkpoints during the assault. They were eventually dumped naked on the side of the road. The woman, whose name was not released, was assaulted with an iron bar and suffered severe internal injuries that eventually proved fatal.
The attack caused outrage across India, sparking protests and demands for tough new rape laws, better police protection and a sustained campaign to change society's views about women. The government has set up a series of panels to look into the incident and make reform recommendations, and women's activists hope the assault will mark a turning point for the country.