Rape victim's family call for blood

2012-12-31 14:56

New Delhi - The family of an Indian gang-rape victim said on Monday they would not rest until her killers are hanged as police finalised their investigation before charges are laid against suspects this week.

As the ruling Congress party reportedly pushed for tougher punishments for sex crimes, including chemical castration, authorities in New Delhi launched a hotline to improve safety for women in a city dubbed "India's rape capital".

Around 400 university students gathered in central Delhi on Monday, vowing to continue their "movement" until better safety measures are put in place and the guilty punished.

The dead woman, whom friends say was planning to marry in February, died of her injuries on Saturday in a Singapore hospital, nearly two weeks after being savagely attacked by men on a bus in New Delhi. She was cremated on Sunday.

"The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged and we will fight for that, till the end," her brother told The Indian Express in an interview published on Monday.

Delhi police said their probe was almost complete, pending the arrival of an autopsy report from doctors in Singapore and the conclusions of forensic experts, with charges to be unveiled on Thursday.

"It is up to the court to decide when the trial would begin," said police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat.

Six men will face murder charges after allegedly luring the 23-year-old medical student onto a bus on 16 December, and then taking it in turns to rape her and assault her with an iron bar before throwing her out of the moving vehicle.

The man whom she was hoping to marry, a 28-year-old software engineer, was also left with serious injuries after he too was attacked and dumped on the roadside.

Relatives told The Indian Express he had taken part in an identification parade of suspects at New Delhi's high-security Tihar jail.

While the country returned to work after a weekend marked by candlelit vigils and street protests, few people were in the mood to celebrate New Year. Many bars as well as the armed forces cancelled or toned down festivities.

A grieving family

Seeking to assuage anger at police and local officials for failing to prevent widespread violence against women, the Delhi government announced compensation of 1.5m rupees for the family of the murdered woman and promised one of her relatives a job.

The young woman's father spoke of the impact of the tragedy on the family.

"My wife had hardly eaten in the last two weeks," he told the newspaper.

"She was exhausted... I think she was not ready to face the shock of our daughter's death, despite doctors always telling us that she was serious. She cried intermittently all of Saturday, but it got worse on the flight back home."

The father, who was at his daughter's bedside when she was pronounced dead in Singapore, said he too was struggling to accept the news.

"It is too painful. I have not gone inside her room. She was born in this house. Her books, clothes, they are all here," he said.

The attack has led to widespread calls for rapists to be executed in a country where the crime is so commonplace that it rarely gets a mention in the papers.

India does have the death penalty for "the rarest of rare" crimes although executions are only occasionally carried out.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was hanged last month but it was the first execution for eight years.

Rattled by the angry protests, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered a retired judge, JS Verma, to lead a review of laws on sex crimes.

According to reports on Monday, Singh's own Congress party may propose in its submissions to Verma's inquiry that rapists serve up to 30 years behind bars and be chemically castrated

"Certain proposals have been made but we cannot officially comment at this stage because the draft is not ready as yet," said a party spokesperson.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-12-31 17:14

    Just a pitty that the local rape cases does not get the same coverage as this Indian rape case. Seems to me N24 likes to quickly sweep such cases under the carpet not to put SA in a bad light!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-31 17:22

      We as citizens sweep it under the carpet by our apathy. This isn't the 1st rape in India, just the one that has finally brought home how horrific and prolific it is. That sparked a RIOT, protests, civil unrest. We are all responsible when we say and do nothing. When last did you see any protest against the atrocities women and children are subjected to daily in South Africa?

      toofaan.monsoon - 2013-01-01 20:28

      I'm with the wolf. 100%.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-31 18:07

    Still waiting to hear what all the other people on the bus were doing, including the bus driver. Cannot believe that this all happened so silently and quietly that nobody noticed.

      delish7564 - 2012-12-31 18:15

      Exactly, and they are just as guilty for doing nothing. As you say, apathy is a major cause in this case and in SA...NOT acceptable!!!!! Attitudes Must change, no question about it, but the will has to be there.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-31 18:33

      So we become just as depraved - waiting for the 'right' atrocity, assault, mutilation, horrific torture and agonising death - before our humanity, sense of right and wrong kicks in. It may not seem like it but there are still enough people who know the difference so it's time we kicked these "don't get involved", "it's not my problem" attitudes to the kerb and started kicking some societal and government butt

      logan.naidoo - 2012-12-31 19:42

      The 6 accused were the only ones on the bus when they picked the couple up.

  • ian.robertreid - 2012-12-31 19:47

    Yes yes yes ~ i support you 100 % those useless beings that abused yr child must be totally crushed like cockroaches as they are!!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-12-31 20:15

    In the old south Africa rape, armed robbery and murder were crimes that carried the death penalty. There were less rapes, less armed robberies and less murderers. Go figure.

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