NEW DELHI —
In India, the government has ordered a special investigation into the gang-rape of a young woman in the Indian capital. Amid continuing outrage in India, the government says it will also review women’s safety.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Wednesday that a three-member commission of inquiry will identify possible lapses by police in connection with the the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in New Delhi last week.
Its report will be submitted in three months.
He says another panel will suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women in the Indian capital and recommend changes in laws to make punishment for such “horrific crimes stiffer.”
Minister Chidambaram says the government wants to find a lasting solution to the problem of rape that plagues all towns and cities in India. He said it is a matter of shame that such incidents are happening in the Indian capital.
“Whatever we do now is only intended to demonstrate government’s serious intent in the matter that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators, we will try and find out what went wrong, what were the lapses, was there negligence and amend the laws," he said. "So there are three parts to what we are doing. At the same time, we are open to suggestions of what more needs to be done, especially suggestions from women who feel insecure.”
The government’s announcement came as police reported another gang-rape on Wednesday in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where 10 men have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a 20-year-old woman.
But it is the incident in New Delhi that sparked massive street protests and put immense pressure on the government to do more to prevent violent crimes targeting women.
The protests have eased and the government has reopened several metro stations and roads in New Delhi that had been shut to prevent the demonstrations. They were the biggest spontaneous protests witnessed in the Indian capital in recent times.
But the issue of violence against women continues to dominate television debates and living room conversations. In New Delhi, police say the number of rapes has increased by 17 percent this year.
Doctors said Wednesday the condition of the gang-rape victim in New Delhi has deteriorated. She is on life support as she battles for survival after being raped by a group of men and beaten with rods for almost an hour. A policeman, who was injured during the protests, died on Tuesday.