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1000s Demonstrate Over Gang Rape

Student victim in critical condition after brutal attack

Posted: 19.12.12
1000s Demonstrate Over Gang Rape

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across India today, calling on authorities to stop the rise in violent sexual attacks on women, after a 23-year-old medical student was raped and beaten by six men on a Delhi bus on Sunday night.
So far four men aged between 25 and 33 have been arrested in connection with the incident. Two more are still being sought. Several of the attackers were living in a slum in the south of the capital. They include a bus driver, a fruit seller and a gym instructor.
The men are accused of attacking the girl and her male friend after the pair boarded a bus on their way home from watching a film in south Delhi. The men raped and tortured the girl and beat her friend with iron rods and other weapons. They were stripped, robbed and dumped on the roadside near the city's main airport. The woman is in a critical condition in hospital suffering from severe internal injuries.
Another student at Delhi University said there had to be a change of attitude among the authorities, who, she said, tried to pin the blame for sex attacks on victims. She said: ‘Women are told that if they go out late at night, they will be raped.’
Several celebrities including Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Bipasha Basu have tweeted about their own shock of the incident.
Sonia Gandhi, the president of the ruling Congress party, visited the victim in hospital. In a letter to Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Gandhi spoke of the ‘painful regularity’ of such incidents and said it was ‘a shame that our daughters, sisters, mothers are unsafe in the capital city’. 


There were 572 reported cases of rape in Delhi last year and one man was killed for trying to protect a female friend who was being harassed by men. Speaking about this recent incident, his cousin said: ‘It is a huge social problem. Men are just taught to respect their elders but not women.’
The current maximum punishment is 10 years in prison. New Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar believes this should be raised to the death penalty. He said; ‘We will seek the most severe punishment of life imprisonment for the culprits and we will send a proposal to the government for the death sentence for rapists.’
Members of a local campaign however called Indians For Guns, believe the problem will be reduced if women carry firearms so they can defend themselves. A spokes person said: ‘The only effective deterrent is if women are armed and prepared to use the firearm in self-defence.’

 

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