RANCHI – After the death of a female physiotherapy student aged 23 on December 16 to gang rapists, the news still continue to hover around and to be talked about worldwide, as protests and lobbyists take on streets. She was travelling on a bus with a male friend after watching a film from a mall in New Delhi. They were attached, undressed and clobbered with iron rods before the lady was gang raped by several men. The police in New Delhi has so far apprehended SIX men in connection to the case and they are accused of attacking the duo and raping the woman. A sixth suspect is expected to be tried as a juvenile but he believed to have been worse in the whole gang rape encounter exercise. The accused are Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Ram Singh, Akshay Thakura and Pawan Gupta who have been tried Saket District court in New Delhi.
FIVE men have been accused and they are aged between 19 and 35 and among them include the driver of the bus. They are charged with rape, abduction, robbery of items and murder of a 23 year woman. They could face the death penalty if convicted.
Recently a police spokesman, Rajan Bhagat, said that if the men are convicted of murder, they could face the death penalty basing on the gang rape attack on 16th December 2012. The news has since shocked India because of its savagery, led to violent protests and prompted demands for improved protection for women as well as calls for the death penalty in rape cases.
The victim died on Saturday morning at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, where she had been flown for treatment due to severe internal injuries caused by the assault. It is reported that she had an infection in her lungs and abdomen, liver damage and a brain injury, the Singapore hospital revealed.
1980 Supreme Court Ruling: The Indian Supreme Court in 1980 ruled that the death penalty should be used only in the rarest of rape cases, and fewer than 50 people have been executed since India’s independence in 1947.
Rape cases in India continue to rise: According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics, in India, a woman is raped every 25 minutes. This was in reference between March 2004 and April 2005 where 318 cases of rape were reported in Delhi alone. According to available statistics, more than 600 rape cases were registered in Delhi in 2005. The NCRB statistics also show more than 18,100 people were tried for rape in the country in 2003. Rape cases pending in courts across the country till October 2003 were 56,000. The Startling aspect the story is that the perpetrators in most of the cases are a family member or a relative.
According to a study, released in 1997 by the Sakshi Violence Intervention Centre based on a survey done with 350 school girls in New Delhi where at least 63% of the girls had experienced child sexual abuse at the hands of family members. Nearly one-third of the girls said the perpetrator had been a father, grandfather or male friend of the family.”
However, as cases are registered at police stations, a vast majority of the cases go unreported. There is one observation by a study that only 5% of women crimes reach police stations in villages and even in that little percent, only 30% cases are registered by police and actions are taken against the accused.
How Women are treated in India: The BBC has reported as heard elsewhere that female foetuses are aborted and baby girls killed after birth, leading to an appallingly skewed sex ratio. Many of those who survive face discrimination, prejudice, violence and neglect all their lives, as single or married women.
With more than 24,000 reported cases in 2011, rape registered a 9.2% rise over the previous year, 2010. More than half (54.7%) of the victims were aged between 18 and 30. Most disturbingly, according to police records, the offenders were known to their victims in more than 94% of the cases. Neighbours accounted for a third of the offenders, while parents and other relatives were also involved. Delhi accounted for over 17% of the total number of rape cases in the country.
And it is not rape alone. Police records from 2011 show kidnappings and abductions of women were up 19.4%, women being killed in disputes over dowry payments by 2.7%, torture by 5.4%, molestation by 5.8% and trafficking by an alarming 122% over the previous year.