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January 06, 2013

India Rape Victim's Father Wants to Publicize Daughter's Name

by VOA News

The father of the Indian woman who was brutally gang-raped and later died from severe injuries says he wants to reveal his daughter's identity in order to embolden other sexual crime victims.

The father told Britain's Sunday People newspaper that his daughter "didn't do anything wrong" and that "she died while protecting herself."

He said he is proud of her and that by revealing her name, he hopes it will give courage to other women who have survived similar attacks.

Alongside the numerous protests in India against the gruesome crime, there have been public calls to identify the 23-year-old woman, including a proposal to name a new anti-rape law after her.

However, Indian law forbids the naming of sex-crime victims with the intent of protecting them from the social stigma associated with rape.  So far, authorities have already filed a case against one media outlet, Zee TV, after it ran an interview with the male friend who was with the victim during the attack.  They say the interview could lead to identifying the victim.

In the interview, the woman's companion accused police in New Delhi of wasting time arguing about who had jurisdiction and then taking the couple to a hospital that was not the closest one available.  This came after the victim's friend said it took nearly half an hour before anyone stopped and helped the couple after they were dumped naked and bleeding on the side of the road.

The Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, Vivek Gogia, has defended the speed of the police response, telling reporters that police took less than 30 minutes to get the couple to the hospital after the distress call.

Indian authorities have charged five men with murder, rape, kidnapping and other charges in the December 16 attack. Officials say they will push for the death penalty if the men are convicted.  A sixth suspect is under 18 and will be tried separately in a juvenile court.

Authorities say the accused used the rod to beat the two victims and to violate the woman during the rape.

The unidentified woman died more than a week ago in a hospital in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment.  Her father has backed calls to hang the men charged, if they are convicted.

The Zee interview marked the first time the man, who has not been named, has spoken publicly about the December 16 attack.  The Committee to Protect Journalists has urged Indian officials to refrain from pressing the charges against the media outlet.

India has set up a so-called "fast-track" court to try the men accused of the crimes.  The fast-track court is one of five being set up in New Delhi, known by some as the "rape capital" of India.  The courts will hear cases of sexual assault and other crimes against women in an effort to bypass India's overwhelmed regular court system, where cases can often take many years to be resolved.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.