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As victim battles for life, India screams for justice

As victim battles for life, India screams for justice
As the 23-year-old gangrape victim’s condition deteriorates, an unprecedented outrage was evident across the national capital and in several parts of the country on Wednesday. The bestiality of the crime was perhaps the trigger for the outpour of such powerful emotions from all sections of society. The girl was put back on ventilator on Wednesday as doctors removed her intestines, which were badly damaged. ‘There is an infection in the abdominal region because of the use of rod and an elective abdominal surgery was done to inspect her damaged organs once again,’ said the medical superintendent of Safdarjung hospital, Dr BD Athani.

Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath, who visited the hospital on Wednesday, affirmed fast-track justice to the victim and said she would make sure that justice is not denied. She even wrote a letter to the home minister, raising questions about the safety of women, which is declining by day. She assured that the central government will bear all treatment expenses of the victim. She also stated that her own ministry will look after the day to day court actions and will make sure about the verdict to be pronounced at it’s earliest.

While the girl’s parents didn’t talk to anyone, her friend’s relatives said they will take their son out of Delhi after the horrific incident. Furious protesters, meanwhile, from all walks of life agitated at places like Jantar Mantar, outside Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s residence, outside the Delhi police headquarters, India Gate, Raisina Hills (which remained barricaded till late evening) demanding an explanation from the authorities for not being able to prevent such an atrocious crime.

Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Jaya Bachchan joined the protest outside Delhi Police Headquarters and said: ‘We have been assured that this case will be dealt with in a very, very severe manner.’

The protests on Wednesday was mainly driven by agitated students who while praying for the girl’s well-being with lit candles demanded an end to this menace. ‘The problem is that political parties, police and judiciary are not defending and asserting women’s freedom. Even when they talk of ‘protecting’ women, they do so by advising women to dress and move ‘carefully,’ thereby justifying rapes. They are implying it is natural for men to rape women who defy patriarchal norms,’ said Meenakshi, a student of Delhi University.

The city also witnessed massive traffic snarls due to protests which were held at several places throughout out the day. On the investigation front, the Delhi police on Wednesday detained Akshay Thakur, one of the six accused, from Aurangabad in Bihar who is being brought to Delhi.

Besides, three of the four people already arrested in the case were produced before a court which sent two of them –Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, and Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller – to four-day police custody and Mukesh, the brother of driver Ram Singh who was also arrested, to 14-day judicial custody for undergoing test Identification parade (TIP). Vinay and Pawan, however, have refused to undergo TIP.

Earlier in the day, Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar met Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and it was decided that a drive will be launched to ensure increased patrolling, removal of tinted glasses and curtains from all buses. It was also decided that mobile number and licence number of drivers will be displayed on buses. The home minister also gave a similar assurance on the floor of the house. The Delhi High Court took suo-moto cognisance of the case and pulled up the city police.
Mohit Sharma

Mohit Sharma

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