Date: January 01 2013
THE family of the 23-year-old student murdered in a gang rape wants her killers hanged, her brother has said, as two further vicious gang rapes brought more protesters onto Indian streets.
''The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged, and we will fight for that, till the end,'' the brother told the Indian Express on Monday.
The woman's father said her mother was consumed by grief. ''My wife had hardly eaten in the last two weeks,'' he said. ''She was exhausted … I think she was not ready to face the shock of our daughter's death, despite doctors always telling us that she was serious. She cried intermittently all of Saturday, but it got worse on the flight back home.''
He, too, was struggling to accept the news.
''It is too painful. I have not gone inside her room. She was born in this house. Her books, clothes they are all here,'' he said. ''It is hard to believe I will never hear her voice again, she will never read books to me in English again.''
Six men are facing murder charges after allegedly luring the student onto a bus on December 16 and taking it in turns to rape her before throwing her out of the moving vehicle. She died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on Saturday.
Further attacks sparked fresh demonstrations in two other cities - on opposite sides of the country. In Jagannathpur in West Bengal, a 45-year-old woman was raped by six men before being beaten to death and her body dumped. When her husband tried to stop the attack he was beaten and fed poison.
In Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, a 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped by two men attempted suicide on Sunday.
She is in a critical condition in hospital.
Since the Delhi assault, dozens of other attacks on women, usually barely reported in the Indian press, if at all, have received widespread coverage. Across the country, vigils and demonstrations have been held, some solemn, some violent. Thousands have cancelled New Year's celebrations.
The Hindu newspaper said attention on the Delhi rape victim, and on subsequent attacks, had forced India to examine the ''ugly, rotting interior of our society … the culture of patriarchy that produces, sanctions and makes excuses for violence against women''.
The ruling Congress party is reportedly considering legislation allowing recidivist rapists to be chemically castrated. The party is working on tougher sexual assault laws, including prison sentences of up to 30 years for those convicted of rape, and fast-track courts to hear sexual assault cases within three months, but castration is being seriously considered at the upper levels of the party.
''The proposals are yet to be finalised. We want strong law against such heinous crimes,'' a Congress source said.
The government is also waiting on the recommendations of a commission, headed by a retired judge, investigating the Delhi case and the safety of women in India generally.
Reproductive rights remains a controversial subject, especially for the Congress party and the Gandhi family who run it.
Indira Gandhi, the mother-in-law of the Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi, was prime minister during the Emergency between 1975 and 1977, when a birth control program, administered by her son Sanjay, forcibly sterilised Indian men in order to meet quotas. With AFP
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