India remembers gang-rape victim

2013-12-29 14:47
A protester, wearing an outfit with the colours of the Indian national flag, shouts slogans during a protest over the fatal gang rape of a young woman. (File, AP)

A protester, wearing an outfit with the colours of the Indian national flag, shouts slogans during a protest over the fatal gang rape of a young woman. (File, AP)

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New Delhi - With vigils and prayers, India on Sunday marked the first anniversary of the death of a student savagely gang-raped on a Delhi bus - a tragedy that sparked nationwide protests.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student died on 29 December last year, nearly two weeks after being attacked by a gang of six men on a moving bus as she returned home from the cinema with a male companion.

The attack and her subsequent death shook the country, shone a global spotlight on India's treatment of women and unleashed seething public anger about sexual violence and harassment of women.

The victim's family are holding a religious ceremony in their ancestral village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, away from the constant media attention they have faced since the attack, her brother said.

Rituals

"We want to remember her in a quiet way, away from all the glare. We want it to be a private family moment," the brother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told AFP before the anniversary.

The family will follow traditional Hindu rituals, with a prayer ceremony and symbolic offerings to their ancestors, which are believed to bring peace to those who have died.

The student, who was repeatedly assaulted with an iron rod during her ordeal, has been praised for her determination to report her attackers to the police before she died of her injuries.

Four of her attackers were convicted and given the death penalty in September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to a detention centre.

The sixth man died in prison in March in an apparent suicide.

The angry and sometimes violent protests against the attack jolted India's parliament, which this year passed tougher laws against rapists and other sex-crime offenders.

Read more on:    india  |  india bus rape

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