Women pressurising government due to concerns over safety
Thousands of women joined a rally in Delhi in order to protest against the recent gang rape of a medical student in her early twenties.
The 23-year-old woman died at the weekend from severe injuries sustained during an attack on a bus on December 16. Her and a male companion were travelling back from a cinema when they boarded the bus in Delhi.
She was raped for nearly an hour while her and her friend were beaten with iron bars then thrown out of the moving bus onto the street. Police sources have said the bus driver had tried to run her over, but her friend saved her.
The rally follows other daily protests over the incident, which has caused a national outcry in India. Protestors have expressed anger and concern over attitudes to women in the country as well as current laws dealing with violence against women.
Tomorrow five of the six suspects are likely to be charged with murder. If convicted they could face the death penalty, which is still a punishment in India despite the fact it is rarely carried out.
The sixth suspect is reported to be a juvenile, and police have ordered a bone test for him to confirm his age.
India’s Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor has called on the authorities to reveal the name of the victim so that a new anti-rape law could be named after her.
He tweeted: ‘Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of the Delhi gang rape victim. Why not name and honour her as a real person with own identity?
‘Unless her parents object, she should be honoured and the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being with a name, not just a symbol.’
At the most recent protest women held up placards calling for an end to sexual assaults on women.
According to official figures, a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, while thousands of others across India have said they feel frequently subjected to sexual intimidation and violence.
Protestor Juhi Khan, a member of the National Commission for Women said: ‘We are marching to create awareness among people that women should be respected. Because a woman is a mother, a woman is a sister, she is a wife and she is a daughter.’