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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora