The Indian diaspora in Australia gathered in front of the Indian Consulate in Melbourne and held a peaceful rally on Thursday to express support for the anti-rape stir in India and offered prayers for the recovery of the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim.
Several Indian community leaders and other members prayed for peace, well-being and amity and also gave a memorandum to Consulate officials for the Indian Home ministry demanding actions to stop such incidents of rape and molestation across the country.
The girl was gang-raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus on December 16 in Delhi.
After battling for life for the past 11 days at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi, the victim was shifted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore this morning where her condition remains critical.
The Melbourne Indians Solidarity Group said in its memorandum, "We feel strongly about the recent gang-rape incident in Delhi and the rising cases of rape and molestation of women all over India. We condemn the recent gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi and all such heinous acts of rape and molestation anywhere."
"We want to initiate debate to create consciousness and consensus building towards a solution. There are no hasty demands or requests. We feel strongly about this issue and respect all diverse views, in the true democratic tradition," the memorandum said.
"However, we also feel that peaceful protest on this issue is legitimate. The physical and psychological damage to victims, as is happening now, is totally unacceptable in any civilised society", it said.
Manoj Kumar, the organiser of the rally, commented that "Indian government must take action against the culprits and also take steps to stop such incidents to happen across the country. We urge the Indian government and state governments to initiate urgent steps to prevent rape and other crimes against women."
"Our concern is a reflection of our love for India... It is important that the Government of India acts in the most expeditious manner in relation to the above extremely serious situation," the memorandum noted.
Meanwhile in Thailand, hundreds of ethnic and expatriate Indians have signed petitions addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take strong action against the rapists.
"What happened to the young woman a few days back in Delhi is shocking," Bangkok-based Vibha Kawatra, a restaurateur, who grew up in Delhi says.
Expatriate and ethnic Indians in neighbouring Singapore too have been stunned by the barbaric incident in Delhi.