NEW DELHI, INDIA – It is a story that has shocked a nation. A 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped, beaten with a metal rod and thrown off a bus in New Delhi on December 16.
After battling with severe internal injuries, the woman died on Saturday morning from organ failure, in a hospital in Singapore.
Thousands emerged to the streets of New Delhi to pay respects to the victim. Hundreds gathered in the areas of Munirka, and at Jantar Mantar, holding placards and sitting in silence to mourn a death that has fast becoming a symbol for gender activists in a country who say India is becoming increasingly unsafe for women.
Though the Indian government has promised stronger laws on gender based crimes, activists are calling on authorities for radical changes including tougher punishments for perpetrators, stronger policing and a more efficient judicial system as outrage grows across the country.
Showkat Shafi traversed the crowds and spoke to protesters in New Delhi.
|Anshu Mala, student , 26|
It has been 12 days today to this incident. Why did the government wait for so long to send her to Singapore, if they thought she would get the best treatment over there?
It is all a political game and they had sent a dead body.
If it would have been some politician’s daughter would they have taken so long to get her the best treatment? Sending her to Singapore was a way to fool people.
We demand that rapists should be hanged to death. This can happen to anyone and laws have to be amended to give justice to the rape victims.
|Jaspal Singh, businessman, 47|
We want capital punishment for the rapists.
We have gathered here just not to protest against this particular case but all the cases that have happened.
Rapes have been happening in this country ever since we gained independence.
Some of our politicians are also involved in rape cases so how can we expect that rapes won’t happen?
The government needs to start punishing these politicians as well.
|Urvashi, artist, 24|
We want capital punishment for these rapists so that in future horrors like this never take place.
There is a need for over all amendment in the law and all rapists should be either hanged or given life imprisonment.
We have gathered at Jantar Mantar today to get the message across that we want India to be safe and secure for women.
|Vishal, student, 20|
Our demand is that the rapists should be hanged to death.
Our mothers, sisters and wives should be made to feel secure in this country.
There is a need for very harsh laws to tackle rapists so that no one will rape women.
|Savitri, housewife, 45|
We have gathered here to get justice for the girl.
We want that women in India should get more security.
There should be a fast track law, and all rape cases should be dealt with within few days instead of dragging them for years.
|Umesh Kumar Patel, graduate, 26|
There is a need for very strict law.
There is a need that these cases are solved quickly and punishments are given to the guilty.
There is a need for capital punishment to the rapists so that it will put a fear in the minds of offenders and such incidents won’t happen again.