Hang my son for killing India’s daughter - 2012 Delhi gang rape case

A conversation with an unnamed UK Solicitor who had formerly practised in the Indian High Courts:

Hang my son” said Hari Ram Sharma father of one of the accused Vinay Sharma who participated in the brutal crime against the India’s daughter. The victim was a 23-year-old medical student who was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus. The victim was thrown out of the bus and the accused allegedly tried to drive the bus over the victim but she was pulled aside in the nick of time.

Six men have been arrested in connection with the incident: Ram Singh, the bus driver, and his brother, Mukesh Singh, were both arrested in Rajasthan; Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, was arrested in Delhi, as was Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller; Raju, a minor, and native of Uttar Pradesh was arrested by the police at Anand Vihar terminal in Delhi; and Akshay Thakur, a man who had gone from Bihar to Delhi seeking work, was arrested in Aurangabad in Bihar. These men took a joyride to play with soul and mind of the whole country. At least four of the accused live in Ravidas camp slum cluster in South Delhi.

Two days after the death of the victim, Delhi Police finalised around 1,000-page chargesheet in connection with the incident and plans to submit it in court on Thursday, 03 January 2013.

There are ongoing protests all across the India and social activists are now demanding for tougher laws. Protesters named the victim “Nirbhaya” meaning fearless. Some said she was “Amanat” meaning property kept in trust.

Indian Government has shown its determination to work on the particular subject of crime against women. On 22 December 2012, a judicial committee headed by J. S. Verma, a former Chief Justice of India, was appointed by the Central government to submit a report, within 30 days, to suggest amendments to criminal law to sternly deal with sexual assault cases. The committee has urged the public in general and particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women’s groups and civil society to share "their views, knowledge and experience suggesting possible amendments in the criminal and other relevant laws to provide for quicker investigation, prosecution, and trial, and also enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault of an extreme nature against women."

On 26 December 2012, a one-person commission of inquiry headed by a former Delhi High Court judge, Usha Mehra, was set up to identify lapses and determine responsibility in relation to the incident. It will also suggest measures to make Delhi and the wider National Capital Region safer for women. The report is to be submitted within three months and will be tabled in Parliament along with action taken by the government.

Now in the backdrop of all these protests, government measures and talks of reform the story of India’s daughter still remains an unfinished dream. The victim was an ambitious girl and among a very few women in India who get the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Her parents sold their agricultural land to facilitate her education. They have shown a remarkable example of parenting and support to their child.

The debate is ongoing for centuries as to why women in India are somehow seen inferior than men especially in the sectors of society where life is constant struggle and belief is strong that men are bread winners and women are liability. Why society considers it is appropriate to have segregation of women and ignores long existing issues of "Eve teasing" (euphemism for public sexual harassment). Crime against women is worldwide problem and in most cases justice is difficult for victims. Britain's record on rape shows shocking new failures as the number of sex crimes rises, police procedures mean victims of assault do not get justice – and their attackers go free.

The sex crime rate in New Delhi is one of the worst among Indian cities, with one rape reported every 18 hours on average. Now the state of affairs can surprise many, in another similar incident a minor girl was molested in Delhi bus who was earlier raped by her stepbrother brother. On Saturday night 29 December 2012, the girl had left her house at around 9:30 pm, took a bus and when the bus reached Mandi House at around 11 pm, police personnel noticed the girl inside the bus was alone and crying. Just hours before Nirbhaya's ashes were immersed in the Ganga, a 17-year-old girl studying in class XI of a prominent south Delhi school was allegedly sedated and raped by two men at a New Year's party in the upscale Safdarjung Enclave area of south Delhi.

However, Delhi Government is still struggling with its much-vaunted helpline for women, mobile phone users were struggling to connect to its toll-free number 181.

The incident and other similar crimes against women are condemned. Legal reforms, punishment and enquiry committees will take time to work on their agenda. It is human to respect women, community and family.

The difference between a good man and a bad man is the choice of cause.” by William James

RIP  Nirbhaya..