Slogan ‘Never Again’ Echoing Throughout India

The last day of 2012 was the coldest day of the year in New Delhi. But protesters camping in the capital

ENGLISH , CERITA

Selasa, 26 Mar 2013 20:45 WIB

Author

Bismillah Geelani

Slogan ‘Never Again’ Echoing Throughout India

India Gang rape, Bismillah Geelani, Rape

The last day of 2012 was the coldest day of the year in New Delhi.

But protesters camping in the capital’s Jantar Mantar square weren’t deterred.

22-year-old Sonali Singh held a placard and candles, while others are demanded justice for the gang rape victim who died the day before.

“We are here to support the cause and the numbers will go up every day, whether it is 4 degree,  5 degree  or New Year or whatever”.

Some of the protesters, like 25-year-old Dipika, travelled more than 300 kilometers from the state of Uttar Pradesh to pay homage.

“She is our martyr, that’s how we look at her. We celebrate her and we thank her for awakening a nation that was until date asleep and dead to the plight of women in this country. So we are going to continue this protest and we are not going to stop here.”

The government hasn’t disclosed the rape victim’s identity yet.

On December 16, the Physiotherapy student was returning home with her boyfriend in a private bus.

While the bus was still moving, 6 drunken men including the bus driver started to gang-rape her. When the couple fought back, they were attacked with iron bars.

The couple was then thrown out of the moving bus, says Neeraj Kumar, the Commissioner of Delhi police.

“As soon as the police got to know of the incident our people reached the spot within no time, picked up the couple who were without clothes, took them to the nearest guest house borrowed sheets from there, covered them and took them to the hospital. In my entire career I have never come across such a brutal rape case.”

The incident has left the entire nation in a state of shock.

People from all walks of life took to the streets across Indian cities to express their anger and outrage.

India Gate in New Delhi became the centre of protests with thousands of people participating in demonstrations and candle light vigils to demand accountability and action.

Sharmila Tagore is a Bollywood actress.

“This girl has been brutalized. Iron rod has been inserted in her, her intestines are ruptured, she was thrown out of the bus and she is fighting for her life. We have to be shaken out of out wits. This is enough; we have to say we are not going to take this anymore, we have to do something.

Lawmakers are demanding tougher laws and harsher punishments to deal with the rising number of cases of violence against women.

Sushma Sawraj is leader of the opposition in the lower house of Parliament.

“This is not an isolated case. Incidents like this happen every day and the women who suffer this violence neither live nor die. They turn into a living corpse. So shouldn’t the perpetrators of such crimes be sent to the gallows?”

According to the National Crime Records Bureau more than 20,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2011, more than five hundred of them in Delhi alone.

Delhi is known to be among the most dangerous cities for women and is often called India’s rape capital.

The gang-rape victim was flown to Singapore for further treatment where she finally succumbed to her injuries.

Amid the continuing protests and growing clamor for the death sentence for the 6 accused men, the government has appealed for calm and promised to take appropriate measures to ensure women’s safety.

Sonia Gandhi is Congress Party president and Chairperson of the ruling alliance.

“Today we pledge that she will get justice and that her fight will not have been in vain. To all of you who have stood vigil, who have expressed anger and anguish publicly, who have poured out in her support, I want to assure you that your voice has been heard. As a woman and mother I understand how you feel. I appeal to you to remain calm and help strengthen our collective resolve to fight the menace of violence against women. “

The government has appointed a judicial commission to investigate the incident and set up a panel to review the existing rape laws.

Five fast-track courts for rape cases, one exclusively for the Delhi gang rape case have also been announced. The police have submitted the charge sheet against the six accused who have already been arrested.

Dharmendra Kumar is the Special Commissioner of Police.

“Section 302 IPC, which is the penal section for murder has been added in the case. A special public prosecutor of eminence has been appointed to conduct the trial in a fast track court on a day-to-day basis. It will be our endeavor to ensure the harshest punishment in the book to the culprits.

The government has taken a number of other measures, including an increased police presence on the streets, police escorts on passenger buses and a special help line for women.

The slogan ‘never again’ has been echoing throughout India following the incident.

But while national protests continue, at least half a dozen rape cases have been reported in Delhi and the surrounding areas in the past two weeks.
 

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