News / Asia

India Mourns 23-Year-Old Gang Rape Victim

Indians gather next to a makeshift memorial to mourn the death of a 23-year-old gang rape victim, in Bangalore, India , Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
Indians gather next to a makeshift memorial to mourn the death of a 23-year-old gang rape victim, in Bangalore, India , Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
The young Indian victim of a brutal gang rape has died in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment. Thousands of people staged peaceful protests in the Indian capital -- where the incident took place -- despite tight security to prevent mass demonstrations. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the incident has sparked widespread calls for social change.

From people on the street, to the country's top leaders, messages of grief and vows to prevent similar crimes poured in as news spread of the death of the 23-year-old rape victim.

The young woman died early Saturday morning in Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore of severe organ failure, 13 days after she was brutally beaten and raped by a group of men in a moving bus in New Delhi. She had undergone multiple surgeries in the capital before being flown to Singapore Thursday for special treatment.

India's High Commissioner to Singapore T.C.A. Raghavan said the victim's family members were by her side when she died.

"In the end it was the scale of her injuries which proved too much," said Raghavan.

Thousands of people came out into the streets in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi to mourn her death, demand justice for her and safety for women.

The biggest protests were in the capital, where the crime took place. Hundreds of young people gathered at several locations, although authorities closed several metro stations and many roads and deployed hundreds of police to prevent mass demonstrations.

But the protests were quieter than those last week which had turned violent.

In some parts of the city, people marched in silence, others held up placards. They all demanded a safer city and speedier justice for crimes against women. Many shouted slogans. In the evening they lit candles in her memory. The protestors termed it “Black Saturday”.

"We want safety as our first priority"
"We should be able to breathe peacefully and walk on the streets"
“I do not feel safe at all….”
“It is not just about the government, I think the people of this country need to realize that what they have made this country, we have to change this…”

Across the country, ordinary people and media paid tribute to the young girl, calling her "braveheart" and "India's Daughter," and saying her death should be honored by bringing about social change.

  • Sand artist Raj Kapoor holds a candle near a sculpture at the Sangam to pay tribute to a gang rape victim who died early Saturday, in Allahabad, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • An Indian ties a black band as he arrives to attend a gathering to mourn the death of a 23-year-old gang rape victim, in Mumbai, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • An Indian woman shouts at a police officer during a gathering of people to mourn the death of the 23-year-old gang rape victim in Mumbai, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • Indian women participate in a candle-lit vigil in New Delhi to mourn the death of a gang rape victim, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest in New Delhi, December 29, 2012.
  • Indian men and women lie down on the ground mimicking dead bodies as they mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • Indians gather next to a makeshift memorial to mourn the death of a 23-year-old gang rape victim, in Bangalore, India , Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • A man participates in a candle-lit vigil to mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • An Indian woman holds a placard as she joins others in a protest to mourn the death of the 23-year-old gang rape victim, in Bangalore, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • People walk near a sand sculpture with the words "We Want Justice" created by Indian sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik, in solidarity with a gang rape victim who was assaulted in New Delhi, on a beach in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, December 29, 2012.
  • Indian women participate in a candle-lit vigil to mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.
  • A girl holds a placard as she takes part in a protest rally in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, December 29, 2012.

There is widespread public outrage against authorities for not doing enough to prevent such crimes and assure safety of women. Murder charges have now been added to the rape charges brought against six suspects in the case.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a statement, said he understood the reactions from a young India that genuinely desires change. He said "It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channelize these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action."

Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the victim has shaken India's conscience.

"Our hearts are burdened with grief and shame. And this is not a moment for speeches or words, but for deep reflection. I would like each one of you to be calm and peaceful," said Dikshit.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde vowed strict action against the accused.

Shinde says the government will heed public calls for strict punishment for the guilty and ensure that such incidents do not happen again.

Home Secretary R.P.N. Singh said authorities are committed to bringing about change to ensure women's safety.

"The government will work overtime to try and bring about laws and steps that will ensure that no other person, no other citizen of the country has to undergo the same kind of trauma," said Singh.

India's government has been criticized for being slow to understand the outrage that followed the incident, in a country where crimes against women are growing, and where police figures show that rape is among the fastest growing crimes, even though many rapes go unreported.

You May Like

Video Anti-Muslim Sponsor of Texas Cartoon Contest Draws Ire

Pamela Geller's supporters say she speaks truth about sensitive topic, while critics say she preaches 'that Islam is inherently evil' More

East Meets West in Exhibition Showing Chinese Influence on Fashion

Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition juxtaposes influence of art, imagery and culture, from Imperial China to the present day, on Western fashion and design More

South Africa Begins New Love Affair With Vinyl Records

Enthusiasts say the 'rebirth' of vinyl is resulting in a rebirth of music in South Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: p.s.bhugwandin from: south africa
January 03, 2013 6:59 AM
the govt should change the dressing of females in india.most of the females are almost naked.this is why they are inviting rapist.

by: Rania hasan from: usa
January 02, 2013 2:54 PM
rapists should be hang openly to teach lesson others , otherwise this will never end indian govt should take this step to give importance to women in india.

by: Shy from: NotIndia
January 02, 2013 6:06 AM
This girl has suffered before she died and after she died also.....she won't rest in peace. People are afraid, scared, especially women of what may their fate be in the future. Those cruel people must be punished, not death sentence but make them, make them see life difficult as they have made the last few moments of the girl's life and her family.....The girl's family,, if they reading this comment, I want them to know that not only India's people want justice but this case has spread internationally...we all want justice for that 23 year old.


by: aleisha from: australia
January 01, 2013 6:28 PM
i am appauled at how any human can treat another this way!!

all the men that participated in the abuse of this beautiful poor inocent young woman need to have the same thing happen to them in prison for the rest of there misserable pathetic lives!

by: Anonymous
December 29, 2012 1:53 PM
What i would like to know is .....this is a BUS not a hidden alley way, was there no one else on the bus??? was the bus driver in on this????? this poor poor girl ......im seething at what has happened to this helpless woman...The men that done this to her should have the same done to them and WORSE, they should be stripped of any human rights when they committed this act.....I just hope that they are caught and given a VERY hefty jail sentence ......

by: Tamil Nesan from: australia
December 29, 2012 10:56 AM
I am writing this as an ashamed Indian.

Problems starts at Top.Constitution, Judiciary, Police serve politicians and bureaucrats. Corrupts / liars / criminals / rapists sit in parliament and state assemblies . They have become power and money hungry and their least priority is a common man.

We have failed in almost every area viz-a-vis , Non-functional Judicial system, crime against women /poor/lower caste, agriculture (farmers suicide), industry( policy paralysis), education ( no clear policies), foreign policy (blind eye), mining (illegal activities), telecom ( illegal licenses), internal security (no proper policing /outdated laws) , economy ( poor growth rate) , inflation, medicine (no systems- illegal testings), poor infrastructure, improper resource management (water), illegal land grabbing and the list goes on and on


All these years we have not learnt to look at a fellow Indian as a human beings, instead we look at his/her religion, caste, economic status, gender, colour.We either look-up or look-down. Differences start in our homes.The situation looks grim and will we really change ?Unless we change we will perish.


We are left with only one option, WE MUST CHANGE , we fought for Independence and we have given this country to thieves.Time has come to fight for our rights .to fight in streets. After so many years of Independence we have sent a rape victim to a foreign county ( for best treatment possible) and this is how our rulers have kept India .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs