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Gang rape victim still critical: India cries for justice

Anger, grief and outrage — it all spilled over yesterday as a 23-year-old continued to battle for her life in a Delhi hospital after being brutally tortured and gang-raped. Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said four people had been arrested for what is one of the most horrific rape incidents ever reported.

Those arrested were bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, fruit seller Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma, an instructor in the Delhi government-run gym in Siri Fort. Two others, Akshay Thakur and Raju, were absconding. According to police, the men were out on a joyride and had been drinking.


Enough is enough! National Federation of Indian Women activists shout slogans during a protest following the gang rape of a student in the capital. Pic/AFP

Victim critical
Doctors at Safdarjung Hospital, who admitted they had never seen a rape victim who had been so grievously injured, said the young physiotherapist was still critical and continued to be on ventilator support. “The patient is in critical condition and she is now trying to speak. We can say it is a grievous injury and her intestines are severely damaged,” a doctor said.

The brutal rape and torture occurred on Sunday night when the girl and a male friend boarded a private bus with tinted glasses. It moved along the bustling south Delhi areas of Munirka, Vasant Vihar and Mahipalpur as the men raped and tortured the girl and beat her friend.

As some bare, unspeakable details of the gang rape began to emerge in the media, a frisson of insecurity went up spines across cities and towns but there was also palpable anger.

This found reflection not just in street demonstrations — in the capital and in other cities — but also in parliament where MPs spoke in one voice to condemn the barbaric crime and demand speedy justice.

‘Rapists be hanged’
In a rare instance of both houses of parliament spending a considerable part of the entire day discussing a crime that was across most newspapers with banner headlines, there were emotional speeches from members with many calling for the death sentence for the rapists.

Amongst them was Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj who said, “Accused in such cases should be hanged,” adding that even if the 23-year-old survived she would be a “zinda laash”, traumatised for life.

Speaker Meira Kumar termed the incident “shameful and horrifying” and urged the government to take immediate and stern steps in the matter. Congress leader Girija Vyas urged the house to pass a bill on sexual assault on women and said states should set up fast track courts to deliver justice in rape cases.

The anguish found echo in the Rajya Sabha too. SP’s Jaya Bachchan broke down in the house saying she wondered what would happen to the girl’s family, while TMC’s Derek O’Brien said as the father of a teenaged girl, he was scared.

“I stand here nervous and scared as the father of a 17-year-old daughter,” O’Brien said, adding, “Rape is not just a women’s issue. It’s about men who stop behaving like human beings and start behaving like animals.”

Assocham: 92% working women feel insecure in Delhi-NCR
At least 92% of working women feel insecure in NCR, industry panel Assocham said yesterday. The assessment based on feedback received from women says that 92% females working with medium and small scale firms are extremely worried and concerned as regards to their outside moments. According to the survey by Assocham Social Development Foundation, 56% of such workforce in the medium sector is quite apprehensive about their safety and security, particularly after sunset. The same fear of security lapses is felt by about 36% of working women engaged in large scale establishments. 

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