Quantcast
Latest Stories

India gang-rape suspects face death sentence

By

A man and a woman dressed as Lady Justice join mourners after news of the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Shocked Indians on Saturday were mourning the death of the woman who was gang-raped and beaten on a bus in New Delhi nearly two weeks ago in an ordeal that galvanized people to demand greater protection for women from sexual violence. The placard says,’war for justice’. AP/ Saurabh Das

NEW DELHI — India was engulfed by a mass outpouring of grief and anger Saturday for the victim of a gang-rape as her body was flown out of Singapore hours after she died in a hospital of her horrific injuries.

As police said the six accused of murdering the 23-year-old could face the death penalty, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led appeals for calm to prevent a repeat of the sometimes violent protests that followed the December 16 assault.

Thousands took part in fresh demonstrations but they passed off peacefully as mourners vowed the medical student’s killing would serve as a tipping point for how the nation deals with violence against women.

The victim’s body was prepared in a funeral parlor in Singapore, before the coffin began its journey back to India with her parents who were at her bedside when she was pronounced dead at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital before dawn.

The plane carrying the gold-colored coffin took off from Singapore’s Changi Airport shortly after midnight, India’s envoy in the city state told AFP, and was expected to reach Delhi before dawn.

Protesters who gathered in the Jantar Mantar thoroughfare in central Delhi, scene of the largest protest, said the unnamed student’s death was a wake-up call for a country in denial about the levels of violence that women face.

The numbers swelled throughout the day and into the evening, with some 5,000 taking part in a candlelit vigil after nightfall despite near freezing temperatures.

Bela Rana, who was among the protestors, said the outrage after the attack represented a sea change and women were no longer prepared to suffer in silence.

“We are aware that this is not the first case, nor will it be the last case of gang-rape in India, but it is clear that we will not tolerate sex crimes any more,” said Rana, a Delhi-based lawyer.

After previous protests had been broken up by riot police, Saturday’s passed off peacefully.

However when the chief minister of New Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, tried to join the crowds she was roundly heckled and quickly withdrew.

Some of the protesters, who also gathered in outlying areas of the capital, carried banners that read “Hang the Rapist”, accompanied by a picture of a noose.

While six men who had already been arrested have yet to be formally charged, they are now accused of murder.

“We have booked all the six accused under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. It is a non-bailable offense which carries the death sentence,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP.

Dharmendra Kumar, one of Delhi’s most senior police officers, said formal charges were expected to be filed by January 3.

The police have been heavily criticized for their hardline tactics in trying to quash the protests, including the frequent use of teargas and water cannon.

Gang-rapes are a daily occurrence in India and many go unreported by victims who have little faith in an often painfully slow justice system and are deterred by the response they can receive from male police officers.

But the particularly savage nature of the attack in Delhi has brought simmering anger to a boiling point and prompted the government to promise better security for women and harsher sentences for sex crimes.

After boarding a bus on December 16, the student was attacked by the men who took turns raping her and assaulted her with an iron bar before throwing her and her male companion off the moving vehicle.

“We have already seen the emotions and energies this incident has generated,” said Singh.

“These are perfectly understandable reactions from a young India and an India that genuinely desires change.”

Shah Rukh Khan, the most famous actor in Bollywood, tweeted that the victim had forced India to confront a shameful reality.

“We couldn’t save u but wot a big voice u have… That voice is telling us that rape is not an aberration, not a mistake,” he wrote.

“Rape embodies sexuality as our culture & society has defined it. I am so sorry that I am a part of this society and culture.”

After the death was announced in Singapore, the Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan spoke of the ordeal endured by the family of the victim, who hail from a rural part of Uttar Pradesh state.

“They have repeatedly asked me to say how inspired they are by the many messages of support and condolences they have received,” he said.

“This reinforces their view that the death of their child will lead to a better future for all women in India and in Delhi.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: India , Protests , Rape , Violence , Women




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Supper power
  • Condo unit sales boosted Shang Properties earnings
  • ERC mulls over WESM price cap for May, June
  • Whatever happened to the ubiquitous pagers?
  • Huge 2013 net profits seen difficult to surpass in 2014
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement