It’s a horrific story. An Indian woman on a bus with a male friend, coming home from a movie, brutally attacked by six men and raped for over an over. This, in a country whose police, and politicians, often don’t take charges of rape seriously.
I had heard something about this the other day, but was so busy with other stories I neglected to look into it. Then caught a bit of it on the news tonight, and now this.
Not only was the crime horrible. But the official reaction to it by some in India was, of course, to blame women.
The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus in the Indian capital, New Delhi, after watching a film on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men who raped her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body resulting in severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.
Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack, which left the victim with severe internal injuries, a lung infection and brain damage. She also suffered from a heart attack while in hospital in India.
The woman has now died in Singapore.
India’s government doesn’t seem terrible interested in moving the ball forward on this one. From NPR:
Prime Minister Singh said Friday that the public can be assured his government is committed to punishing the guilty. The six accused in the gang rape will reportedly be charged next week.
Singh did not publicly address the rape that unleashed the mass protests until Monday, eight days after the attack occurred. Nor did any government official address the crowds, deepening a perception of indifference.
Unfazed by the public outcry, the president’s son, Abhijit Mukherjee ignited new anger Thursday when he described the women protesting the rape as “dented and painted,” as if they were a damaged car.
The son, a national lawmaker, has since apologized. Not enough. He should resign.
More evidence of the Indian government’s rank idiocy and misogyny:
Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he was not obligated to speak to the protesters, and he equated them with Maoist rebels who have long infiltrated the countryside.
The Delhi police, overseen by the central government, used tear gas and water cannons on the protesters, whose ranks included families with children.
India apparently has a problem with police not taking rape cases seriously.
Indian authorities have been accused of belittling rape victims and refusing to file cases against their attackers, further deterring victims — already under societal pressure to keep the assaults quiet — from reporting the crimes.
Indian attitudes toward rape are so entrenched that even politicians and opinion makers have often suggested that women should not go out at night or wear clothes that might be seen provocative.
CBS notes that another woman, age 18, killed herself a month after reporting to the police that she was gang-raped:
The Press Trust of India reported that the woman was raped Nov. 13 and reported the attack to police Nov. 27. But police harassed the girl, asked her embarrassing questions and took no action against the accused, PTI reported, citing police sources.
Authorities in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh also suspended a police officer on accusations he refused to register a rape complaint from a woman who said she had been attacked by a driver.
No wonder people are in the street. What a horrific story.