NEW DELHI: Hundreds of women are expected to march and hold events in more than 20 cities across India on Saturday to "reclaim the night" and demand their right to safe public spaces after the alleged mass molestation of women in the city of Bengaluru on New Year's Eve.

Organisers say the marches, which will start from 5 pm local time in every city, are to express outrage not only at the sexual assault of women, but to also condemn insensitive remarks made by politicians in the aftermath of the incident.

The campaign, hashtagged #IWillGoOut on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, will bring together women's rights groups, charities, student's associations and individuals in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

The marches in India coincide with events taking place across the world. More than one million people are expected to attend events in countries ranging from Britain and the United States to Macau and Mexico to demonstrate against sexism and sexual violence and call for women's rights following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

"We are doing this to stand up against the misogyny which was played out in the attacks on women on New Year's Eve, and then in the absurd remarks made by politicians after the incident," said Bhani Rachel, one of the organisers of the Delhi march.

"Although our demands are different from those marching in other cities across the world on Saturday, we stand in solidarity with our sisters, as we are all fighting against the same things - misogyny and patriarchy."

Police are investigating reports of sexual assaults during celebrations on December 31 in the city of Bengaluru, where several women were allegedly groped and assaulted by a mob in the city's central business district.

The state home minister later told television networks "such incidents do happen", while another politician blamed women for following "western culture", dressing inappropriately and staying out late.

The attacks, reminiscent of those blamed on migrants in German cities last year, shocked many Indians, since Bengaluru, home to many well educated professionals, is regarded as safer for women than the capital, New Delhi.

The #IWillGoOut organisers said 21 Indian cities and towns - including Hyderabad, Puducherry, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bhopal -confirmed they will be holding events ranging from marches to street plays.

Groups such as Oxfam India, for example, said 1,000 members who will be on a fundraising 100-km (60-mile) trek on the outskirts of Bengaluru, will express their solidarity with the #IWillGoOut campaign through messages on social media.

Sex crimes are common in India, where the National Crime Record Bureau says more than 34,000 rapes were reported in 2015, although women sometimes do not report assaults for fear of the associated social stigma.

The alleged Bengaluru attacks are a chilling reminder of the fatal gang rape of a woman by six assailants aboard a moving bus on December 16, 2012.

The Delhi gang rape sparked outrage around the world and calls for greater protection for women moving around India's cities. But while the government has brought in tougher legislation on sexual assault, activists say much more could have been done.

"Even the very meagre fund that was put together for promoting women’s safety has never been used," said Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal.

"There is a huge agenda of training the police, the judiciary, setting up counselling centres and so on."