India seeks life sentences for Delhi bus rapists

India to press for life sentences for rapists who attacked a woman in a moving bus, in the capital

  • AFP
  • Published: 09:20 December 22, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Students shout slogans and demand severe punishment for rapists as they condemn the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi during a protest in Jammu, on Friday.
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NEW DELHI: India's government, facing swelling protests over the gang-rape of a female student on a bus, vowed on Friday to press for life sentences for her six attackers and promised stricter policing.

Home Secretary R.K. Singh also said the government would pay the medical bills of the 23-year-old victim of the brutal Sunday night attack, who is fighting for her life after suffering serious injuries to her intestines.

"We will ask for the maximum punishment of life imprisonment and ask the court for the speedy trial of the accused," Singh said as New Delhi and other cities continued to be swept by an unprecedented wave of demonstrations by women demanding better safety.

Six drunken men were joyriding on a bus when they picked up the physiotherapy student and her 28-year-old male companion and took turns raping her. Afterwards, they threw the pair off the speeding vehicle.

Police say the woman was attacked with an iron rod after being raped.

Experts say a combination of abusive sexual behaviour, a scant fear of the law and India's creaky judicial system encourage such attacks in the bustling city of 19 million people.

Late Friday, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that all six accused had now been apprehended after a search for the last remaining suspect.

City police commissioner Neeraj Kumar had earlier said at a joint news conference with the home secretary that five people, including the bus driver, had been detained and charged with rape and attempted murder.

Kumar pledged a series of measures to "make Delhi safe," promising squads of officers would patrol the city, crack down on vehicles with darkened windows and zero in on drunken motorists.

"All hooliganism will be swiftly punished," the home secretary added.

The number of rape cases in New Delhi has risen 17 percent from 2011 to 661 this year. The number of rapes is triple the number reported in India's financial capital Mumbai.

Hundreds of people kept a vigil outside the hospital where the woman was being treated after several rounds of surgery. The PTI said she had been taken off a ventilator but showed early signs of infection in a "mixed response".

Kumar said police would deploy marshals on buses which are commonly used by women commuters.

"The (policing) regime that we are going to put in place will be very, very strict," the police commissioner said, adding public transport drivers will be forced to carry identity tags.

If there is any wrongdoing "we will catch those people," Home Secretary Singh added.

Singh also said the under-pressure government would take a "view" on the demands by protesters in several Indian cities for mandatory death sentences for rapists.

A parliamentary panel overseeing internal security said it would meet next week to review existing laws to deal with sex offenders.

The meeting will "deliberate on issues linked to incidents of rape", panel chief Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.

New Delhi's metro system reserves a carriage in every train for women, while several police stations in university districts have all-female staff to try and stem rising crime against women.

Comments (15)

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  1. Added 08:01 December 23, 2012

    India has reached this stage where a girl is so brutally gang-raped in a bus moving through the streets bustling with people because till now the lawyers of the rapists have always found a loop hole to defend their clients and more horrifying those loop holes have been accepted as well. Even society accepts the reasons bandied out by the rapists. Some of the reasons given for ‘justifying’ the rape are: 1. She was travelling at night alone, so she ‘deserved’ to be rape. 2. She was dressed in ‘that’ way, so she provoked the rapists. 3. She was coming out of a bar, so that’s against the Indian culture, so to defend the honour of India, she must be raped. 4. She looked at him in an ‘inviting’ way, so she was asking to be raped. 5. She did not look at him, so she was taught a lesson. 6. She was travelling with a guy at night, so she was up for some ‘fun’. 7. She protested against some eve-teasing, so… The bottom line is that almost always the rape has been considered the ‘fault’ of the girl. Plus, the eluding justice, lack of trust in the police, politicians, and the general stigma associated with rape and the apathy of the Indian society as a whole leads to such incidents being brushed under the carpet. But, as the latest incident has proved, the problem is only increasing. The rapists are becoming more blatant, assured that they will escape or get a soft tap on their hands. Earlier girls were not supposed to roam around at 12 night, now it is 9, and if nothing is done about this, then it will come down to 6, 4, 2 and ultimately, the girls will be forced to sit at home. But, then with the incidents of fathers/uncles raping their daughters/nieces, I don't see where a girl can actually live without fear! Law against rapist must be implemented and the punishment should be swift. There is no excuse for a rape and only the maximum punishment can deter such incidents. The rapists should go through such hell and the result of raping be so apparent that no one should even think of raping. Even the death penalty will be most welcome.

    Sreekala Gopakumar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 05:33 December 23, 2012

    Capital Punishment …not life sentence…is the only way to curb these kind of rape cases in India. The rapists are well aware of the consequences. I am really sad to say, but I have to say Mr. Manmohan Singh is a total disaster for our country, for he should be the one taking the decisions, but he will not do anything for the country. I wish the new President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee will take some action regarding this case. I wish the 23 year old girl who was the victim of the gang rape incident, on Dec 16th, may God Almighty give her the strength and courage to face the world with no fear and fight for justice. God be with you my dear sister!

    Chris, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 22:07 December 22, 2012

    Execute them.

    M Seddiqi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 20:16 December 22, 2012

    would anybody also tell there is a protest going on in all over India against this rape case? more than 50 thousand people are involved in this protest and demanding capital punishment of those 6 accused. Now this time all the Indians not just the common people but also Bollywood, politicians, lawyers, cricketers and everybody is stepping forward hand in hand in the protest. So, i always will be proud 2 be an Indian.

    sahil, new delhi, India

  5. Added 16:27 December 22, 2012

    They should be given a Punishment which should make them realise that Girls are not 'use and throw Dolls' . They Should be given a punishment more than Hanging , which will stop other men to do these Type of misbehavior

    Grace Priscilla, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 15:31 December 22, 2012

    Am not proud to be an INDIAN .

    Samuel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:00 December 22, 2012

    Change of laws is necessary. Death sentence is a must. making laws easy and favourable towards women will effectively handle this things. Some lawyers will say that women will misuse this concept. so what??? are not men misusing this lax law to their advantage presently. Why is the law sheilding the faces of the rapists. They should be exposed to the whole world or atleast in India. So that their family members, relatives and neighbours and society see their faces and are aware of them. some lawyers argue that such strict laws will effect thier family lives. This is exactly what the rapist will be afraid of. for Terrorist there is no bail, are these rapists any less than terrorists? Terrorists are people who have no logic and they instill terror in the minds of innocent people. are these rapists not instilling fear in the minds of innocents whether they are women, girls or children. So why treat such animals differently. apply the same laws and hang them in public.

    Kamaal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:54 December 22, 2012

    Punishing them with life sentence will not solve this issue. They should be punished in such a way that no one will ever dare to do such acts again. Their punishment should be a lesson for other criminals.

    aniyanmon, al ain, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 13:45 December 22, 2012

    This is a henious crime. Government agrees to pay the hospital bills.. What about the post treatment trauma that the victim will go through?? Will she be able to face the world, knowing that her rapists are still alive somewhere and breathing? We can post comments and questions but the one who suffers is the only one who actually feels the pain.. The culprits should be given death sentence, that too, not easy death, they should be given a punsihment which will make them go through a similar trauma the victim had gone through. Shame on Indian system. When will the government wake up? They should learn from countries.

    Manish Bhandari, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:31 December 22, 2012

    The criminal offences on female and children are escaling in India, and what has happened to the Girl in a running bus in the Capital City New Delhi is a repetition of the same. The brutal crime inflicted on the girl is unimaginable. This is all due to the lack of proper and effective capital punishment to the offenders. The age old Indian Penal code has to be rewritten and Capital punishment of death by hanging is to be given to the offenders of sexual offences on female and children. The government and political machinery seems to be ineffective and if it continues citizens will be forced to take law in to their hand.


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