A woman in New Delhi, India, is still recovering in hospital after being attacked. The woman, a physiotherapy student, boarded an empty bus in New Delhi around 9.30pm with a male friend. While on the bus, she was brutally gang raped by a group o …

Samantha Ritchie

 

A woman in New Delhi, India, is still recovering in hospital after being attacked. The woman, a physiotherapy student, boarded an empty bus in New Delhi around 9.30pm with a male friend. While on the bus, she was brutally gang raped by a group of men (police say around six) and the ordeal went on for about 45 minutes. Recent reports have also indicated that the woman was also violated with a metal rod.

The bus had tinted windows and the curtains remained closed with no passers by seeing what was going on. When the group of men were finished their attack they used an iron bar to beat the woman and her friend then tossed them out of the bus, unconscious, onto a city flyover.  The woman is still in a critical condition in hospital after having her intestines removed as they were so ruptured. Since the attack, 4 men have been arrested including the bus driver and the police are looking for 2 others.

But, this attack has sparked widespread protests across New Delhi as many criticise the way in which the police has handled the situation. A senior Indian Policeman, KP Raghuvanshi, has stated that in order to prevent rape women must not travel after dark and they must carry chilli power to throw at potential attackers.

Ranjana Kurmari, director of the Centre for Social Research in Delhi and women’s rights activist, commented on this outrageous statement

This is just a sexist sort of solution. They want women to stay at home. And how is chilli powder going to help against six or seven men?”

This year in Delhi there has been 635 reported rapes and, with statistics showing that three fifths of women don’t come forward after being raped due to the stigma and feeling like they won’t be ‘taken seriously’. Highlighting that New Delhi has a lot to change.

This is why protestors took to the streets demonstrating against the way in which women are treated in Indian society. Protestors demonstrated outside the Police Chiefs office in Delhi but, water cannons were used to stop the protest.

Some say that there are a number of reasons why women are treated in this derogatory manner. Some blame’ macho culture’ in India, others blame the fast pacing economy. Others blame the westernisation of India. Whatever reason it is, these attacks must be stopped. Last week it was also reported that a ten year old girl’s body was found in a river and reports from police stated that before her death she also gang raped by men.

Many victims in India do not come forward as the stigma of being raped is too much. It has been suggested that several victims eventually turn to suicide yet the culprit is not prosecuted for the life they have ruined. The current national conviction rate of cases brought to court is less than 25%.

Many activists are calling on change to the law to stop these attacks. With the Indian economy progressing at such a fast pace, and where women are now working or studying later they should be allowed to walk the streets at night without the fear of being attacked. Culprits ruin the victim’s life and their families. This is why much of the debate has focussed on legislative changes to stop attacks like these happening. We must support out sisters and brothers lobbying and urging the government to change the laws when it comes to rape.

 


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Samantha Ritchie