In recent weeks a gang rape that occurred in Delhi in mid-December, has become one of the most discussed in the world media venue. The victim of a crime was the 23-year-old Indian student who was attacked while riding on the bus. The Indian government tries to fight sexual violence, but the prospects of this fight look almost hopeless.
A brutal crime that shocked accustomed to news of the rape of the people of India, took place on December 16. Jyoti Singh Pandey (Jyoti Singh Pandey) who studied at the internship and who wanted to become a doctor, returned home from the cinema with her 28-year-old friend. The young people sat on a private bus, thinking it was regular (err was easy in the capital of India operates as a state public transport and private buses).
In the bus beside the driver there were five men, all of them were drunk. They beat young men with an iron rod and then raped by Pandey, and did so with cruelty. According to media reports, men used including a subject, presumably the same iron rod. As a result of rape was severely damaged by the intestines of the victim. Then, the criminals stripped of young men and threw them from the bus at full speed. Pandey was taken to the hospital in critical condition. She went through several surgeries, doctors had to remove part of the intestine. Despite his serious condition, the girl gave a statement to the police.
A few days later after details became known of the rape on the streets of Delhi began to gather in the spontaneous demonstration. Their participants demanded the death penalty for detainees already by this time, the six suspects and action to end violence against women. Demonstrations, sometimes turning into riots, the most actively continued for ten days after the crime. The police dispersed their members are using water cannons and tear gas, banned the holding of mass rallies in the capital and in the end just blocked Central roads of the city.
26 Dec Pandey flown to Singapore where doctors fought for her life for three more days. However, to save the student failed: Dec 29, she died. On the same day, the suspect in the crime was charged with murder.
Preliminary hearings on the case started on 7 January, there appeared before the court five men, including the bus driver. Brothers RAM Singh (Ram Singh) and Mukesh Singh (Mukesh Singh) and Pavano Gupta (Pawan Gupta), the Vinaya Sharma (Vinay Sharma) and Akshay Thakur (Akshay Thakur) could face the death penalty. Two of them, Sharma and Gupta agreed to a plea bargain and testified to an accomplice.
The sixth man, who was in the bus and arrested on the case of rape, – Afros Mohamad (Mohammad Afroz). According to his school certificate, he is now 17 years and 8 months. Accordingly, his case will be considered separately in a special court for minors. According to police, Afroz was one of the most brutal accomplices to the crime: it is suspected that he personally twice raped the girl, ripped her intestines and suggested to throw her off the bus. However, he is the only one can’t be applied to the death penalty because of his age. Moreover, according to the International Business Times, under the current laws of India, the maximum punishment for a juvenile to three years imprisonment.
Reaction to the crime
The investigation of the incident revealed major weaknesses in Indian law and practice. The Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, trying to calm the protesters, promised that his government would take “all possible measures” to ensure the safety of women in the country.
Soon the government of India created a special commission headed by a former chief judge Jagdish Sharan Verma (Jagdish Sharan Verma). The Commission shall within 30 days prepare proposals on changing legislation and harsher punishments for rape and other sexual offenses. Now the maximum punishment for rape is life term but the government is discussing the introduction of capital punishment for particularly violent cases.
Among the representatives of the Indian authorities and major public figures and sounds the idea to call the new law, which prescribed the punishment for rape, in the name of the deceased 23-year-old student. Relatives of Jyoti Singh Pandey has reportedly already given their consent.
Violent crime has caused outrage not only in India but also abroad. UN Secretary-General bans Ki-moon called on the authorities to ensure the safety of women and to do everything possible to help victims of violence. My condolences to the relatives of the deceased expressed the American Embassy in Delhi. The Indian Diaspora held a demonstration near the embassies of his country in Paris and London, the participants demanded immediate reaction of the authorities.
The world media in great detail covered the protests in Delhi and the investigation of the crime. Dead girl dubbed in the press “Daughter of India” (India’s Daughter). Quite revealing is the fact that first reported about the name of the girl who died 29 December, just foreign edition. For a long time, Indian media kept her name a secret, since data on victims of rape in the country to disclose prohibited. In early January, in an interview with British tabloid The Sunday People, the 53-year-old girl’s father still said her name. He stressed that “the disclosure of her name will give courage to other women who were victims of sexual violence.” However, then father Pandey denied that he gave the newspaper permission to publish her name.
A woman’s burden
In 2011, in India, there were about 24 thousand rapes, and their number from year to year is growing, and over the last 20 years has doubled. Almost always (in 94% of cases) of victims know their rapists, who are often their neighbors and sometimes relatives.
More than 17 percent of rapes in the country in 2011 occurred in Delhi. This city is considered not only the administrative center of the country but also the “capital of violence”. In 2011, in Delhi (11 million inhabitants) were recorded 568 rape, while in the most populated city – Mumbai (12.5 million people) is “only” 218 such crimes.
In Delhi, where on average every 18 hours there is a rape, trying to deal with sexual offenses by insulating potential victims from potential rapists. According to the Associated Press, every city subway train has a special wagon for women. In addition, some police departments (in particular, at the University of New Delhi) is fully staffed by women police officers.
However, rape is just one of the problems faced by Indian women. According to studies, the fairer sex still holds there low social status. In the summer of 2012, India was recognized as the worst country for women who lived among the member countries of the G20 (Russia in this ranking, by the way, in 13th place, after Brazil and Turkey). Experts interviewed by the Agency TrustLaw, said that the country still there are cases where women are actually sold as slaves, girls are married off at the age of ten, and young girls in the family are used as free labor.
Moreover, statistics show that many Indian parents are often artificially interrupted pregnancy when they learn that they will have a girl. With the development of ultrasound diagnostic technology, the scale of this phenomenon is becoming threatening. If in 1961 in India there were 976 girls per 1,000 boys under the age of seven, in 2011 there were already 914 per 1,000 boys. Experts attribute this to the fact that, despite the ban on dowry, introduced in 1961, the practice of paying families of brides substantial sums to relatives of the groom is still widespread. Thus, having boys in India is simply more profitable.
Against the background of depressing statistics, one can only be surprised at the fact that one – though brutal, but still another – crime could provoke such a violent reaction both in India and abroad. Despite the heat of passion and advocacy for women’s rights, on January 4, another gang rape took place in a suburb of Delhi Noida, whose victim, a 21-year-old factory worker, died.