Brutal gang-rape in India is a call to everyone, worldwide, to ensure changes

Gerry Georgatos - Inhumanity knows no bounds just as equal to humanity's limitlessness. Recently, in Pakistan a fourteen year old school girl was shot the in head by the Taliban for speaking up for the right of young girls to an education. They stopped the school bus bringing home the children and shot the young Malala. On March 31 a Ukranian teenager died after a brutal gang rape. On December 16 the ugliest inhumanity was broadcast to the whole world when a 23 year old physiotherapy intern was gang raped on a bus in Delhi. She had beaten beyond comprehension, vile acts unbelievable in today’s world of unfolding human rights and social justice languages.

She died on December 29, and she has been mourned the world over. Her death has sparked outrage in India however her death has touched the hearts and souls of humankind the world over.

She lived only 13 days after the brutal gang rape and the horrific violence to her body and soul, thrown from the moving bus after the most vile rape.

She underwent emergency treatment in a Singapore hospital, after the Indian Government controversially flew her there for apparent expert treatment. She underwent emergency surgery for gastrointestinal damage from the horrific brutal assault. She also underwent brain surgery.

On the evening of December 16 she and a male companion, after watching a movie, boarded a a party bus of joyriders in south Delhi after being lured on to it as the joy riders promised them a trip home, that they were heading ‘in their direction’. Five passengers who were joyriding, one of them the brother of the bus driver, would later assault both of them. They would beat her companion with a metal rod, knocking him out unconscious, and they would tie him up. They would then rape her and beat her to a pulp. They would then throw both of them off the bus for a passer-by to later find them.

The dying young lady was taken to Safdarjang Hospital where in the space of one night she underwent surgery after surgery, and in then in the coming days she underwent further surgeries because being controversially whisked to Singapore, with surgery required mid-air and again in Singapore.

The whole time she was being kept alive by mechanical ventilation, her family distraught, Indians right across the sub-continent distraught, the world’s humanity in a state of shock at the ferocity of the violence.

India has been accused of sexism, misogyny, that the streets of its cities, towns and villages are not safe at all times for women, young and older, and that the Indian Government and its public institutions and agencies have failed to legislate protections and policing for the rights of India’s women. This despite the advancement of women in other areas of Indian life, including Indian Prime Ministers – Indira Gandhi.

Today, India cries out for its streets to be made safe for
all women.

Six men, including the bus driver, have been arrested. Every major organisation – legal and human rights oriented – around the world has condemned the assault, and many have indicted India’s indicted and slammed the Indian Government and its historic and contemporary failure in ensuring the rights of women, not just to advancement however also to safety and security. Presidents and Prime Ministers have expressed their outrage.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women have expressed their shock and called on the Indian Government to act, at long last. They have called upon the Indian Government to honour the tragic and horrific of this young lady by making the streets safe for everyone, “to make women’s lives more safe and secure.”

The Indian Government has been called upon to improve the wellbeing and lives of women, and to ensure every opportunity for its female children. It has been called upon to initiate the commencement of adequate legislation towards eliminating the rampant segregation against women. India has been called upon to ensure legislation encourages young girls and women to report rape rather than be tainted or ostracised.

India has one of the world’s worst rates of rape, especially of young women. Delhi has one of the world’s worst rape rates, and with a woman raped every 15 hours.
A young Indian lawyer Bela Rana said, “We are aware this is not the first case, nor will it be the last case of gang-rape in India, but it is clear that we will not tolerate sex crimes anymore.”

The young woman’s male companion had apparently become quite disturbed, as one would, when the party bus deviated from the promised direction homeward bound, after the young couple’s night out at the movies in Saket, South Delhi. It has been alleged that when he raised his concern that the inebriated joyriders attacked him.

It does not matter that these young men were inebriated or that some may have been less inclined than others within the group to deviate the bus and cruelly rape this young man – there was consciousness despite inebriation – good people do not do what these young men despite inebriation, theirs is one now for them to be held accountable. Their actions bespeak of people long dead of humanity before this encounter, and of any silence by anyone of them during this cruel ordeal as utter for fear of recrimination is unacceptable, all are as guilty as the other.

The male companion was unconsciousness having been struck wildly by an iron rod.

It is alleged the young men dragged the woman to the rear of the bus. The bus driver had pulled the bus in a dark quiet, out of the Delhi’s fanfare and throngs of people. He had locked the doors. The young lady was beaten the metal rod. It is alleged that at times during the gang-rape the bus driver drove the bus. It has been reported widely that the doctors attending this young woman have spoken of insufferable wounds to her abdomen, intestines and genitals, that only 5 per cent of her intestines remained in her body. It is alleged that the rusted L-shaped metal rod, possibly a wheel-jack, was forced into her – and with such ferocity was pulled at times that it ruptured her intestinally, dragging with it her intestines. What monsters were these young men in their transformation from the innocence at birth to this hostile climate of hellish inhumanity?

When the monstrous rape had ended, the young men literally the couple out of the moving bus onto the bitumen of South Delhi. One of the perpetrators then allegedly cleaned the bus of the stains of their inhumane improprieties.

After having boarded the bus at 9:30pm the couple were found unconscious on the road at 11pm by a passer-by. Delhi Police arrived and they were taken to hospital, emergency surgery followed. They young lady was found to have only 5 per cent of her left inside, and they had to resect much of her intestines for fear of gangrene. A hospital doctor said, “the rod inserted into her must have been pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines along. This is probably the only thing that explains the severe damage to her intestines.”

She hung in there for dear life, with the trauma of the evening to torment for the rest of her days. The young woman was born and bred in Delhi, her family having moved to Delhi for a better life and for opportunities from their impoverished past in an impoverished village in Ballia in the district of Uttar Pradesh. Her father, from an agricultural caste community, sold his quarter hectare of land so his children could enjoy the educational opportunities of Delhi. The male companion is 28 years old, from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, and is a resident of New Delhi.

Rage poured across India, and people power protests across the subcontinent were met with police force. In the face of sustained protests, cultural waves of dissent, and supported by international outrage, on December 21 the Indian Government appointed a committee of physicians to save the young woman’s life. It has been alleged that by Christmas Day though in a critical state, intubated, her internal bleeding had been controlled. However in a controversial decision by a Indian ministerial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it was ordered that on December 26 she should be flown to Singapore’s multi-organ transplant expert Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

The decision to move her while she was still in a critical state has been roundly criticised as political rather than in the young woman’s interests. During the six hour flight to Singapore, while the plane was in high altitude, her body went into shock, her blood pressure dropped, and surgeons aboard the plane had to perform a miraculous arterial line to stabilize her. She would never regain consciousness. At 4:45am on December 29 she died and the Mount Elizabeth Hospital spokeswoman said the young victim suffered brain damage, abdominal infection, immune system breakdown and that her body could no longer sustain the fight for life.

She was cremated in Delhi on December 30 and police security was so intense it had never been paralleled for an ordinary Indian citizen, for a young woman whose name has never been released to the nation and the world however who everybody now knows because of the terror of her hour and a half on that bus and the struggle for life in the 13 days and nights since.

The Government prohibited media from the funeral. She was cremated hours after her body was repatriated from Singapore. The funeral pyre was lit after traumatised family and those close said their final prayers.
She and her male companion were to have been married in February.

“They had made all the wedding preparations and had planned a wedding party in Delhi,” said Meena Rai, a friend and neighbour.”

The tragedy of India is that she was not even safe on its streets even in the company of her male companion. Nor was he safe from the skewed minds and bents of the young men.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon personally urged the Indian Government to take the crucial steps to deter such crimes, to reduce the rates of rape.

Such is the despair of India that vigilantism has reared it demands. The spilling of blood has been called for.
Ram Singh, the bus driver has been arrested. Mukesh Singh, the bus driver’s brother has been arrested. Vinay Sharma has been arrested. Pawan Gupta has been arrested. Askshay Thakur has been arrested. The sixth person is a minor, Raju and he has been arrested.

Most sexual abuse and rape crimes in India go without being reported – there is no trust in the system and recriminations are rampant, fear mongers. Most of the reported sexual abuse and rapes are not investigated and therefore charges are not laid. Where charges are laid most prosecutions fail to proceed to the Courts.

On this occasion it will be seemingly easy for the Indian criminal justice system with Pawan Gupta collapsing in a heap upon his guilt and shame. He has confessed, accepting his guilt and said that he should be hanged, that he should not be spared.

The 28 year old male companion of the young lady provided testimony to a December 19 Court hearing and the young lady had given a recorded statement to a Magistrate while she lay critical at Safdarjung Hospital on December 21.

On December 29, hours after the death of the young woman, the six young men were charged with murder.

Police have met wave after wave of protestors across the nation with police battalions, water cannons and tear gas and arrests. Protestors have marched through barriers, overturned cars and outraged through vandalism.

600 women from various organisations demonstrated in Bangalore. Thousands marched in Kolkata. Thousands march near daily in Delhi. Delhi’s India Gate has been thronged by protestors, and it alleged that police have used 375 tear gas canisters throughout Delhi protests. A a Delhi protest policeman Subhash Tomar collapsed and died. He may have suffered blunt force injuries to his chest.

On December 22, the Government appointed a judicial committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India, J.S. Verma. The Committee’s burden is to propose amendments to criminal law so as to adequately deal with sexual assault crimes. The Government has given it a 30 day deadline.
Candlelight vigils followed on the day of the young lady’s death. In the last days of 2012 protest numbers grew around India – Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Thiruvanathapuram.

The shock from the horror of this incident is not limited and its underwriting is pernicious and endemic; it is also the aptitude of the abhorrent violence itself, the extent of the brutality, and the stressors and determinants for this cannot be set aside

Hopefully much changes soon and she is forever remembered, and so to her male companion who would have been her partner come February, and the trauma, multipe trauma, acute and chronic depressions and mental meltdowns that the families will endure life-long. And so too the families of the perpetrators. The trauma is not alone situational, it is both continuing stress and trauma and post traumatic stress. It goes deep into the national and collective consciousness and pscyhes. Hopefully the connectedness of the contemporary world expedites the unfolding of human rights and social justice languages, and that the vocabularies become down pat and the consciousness.

A nation, or a peoples, should be understood by their legislation - the heart and soul of a nation is its legislation. We know the mind of a nation through its parliamentarians and by their legislation.

New Delhi need not be the rape capital of the world - nowhere need that be - humanity's troubled soul has a way to go and we have to make sure, that in the name of the Malalas of the world, in the remembrance of the young 23 year old woman, and similarly in remembrance of the 28 year old male companion, and their families, that we step up the call for changes, and that we get involved in the call for these changes. We must believe that in pursuing humanity we can settle our troubled soul and eliminate inhumanity.

A UKRAINIAN teenager has died three weeks after being set on fire in a gang rape attack that raised doubts about the competence of police.
Oksana Makar, 18, was raped by three men in their early 20s, strangled with a cord, burnt and left for dead in an attack in the southern city of Mykolayiv, investigators said.
A passer-by found Oksana after she was dumped by her attackers at an abandoned construction site. She was taken to hospital with burns over 55 per cent of her body, requiring the amputation of an arm.

SHE died in hospital on Saturday morning, aged 23, with horrible injuries. She was gang-raped, beaten with an iron bar, thrown from a moving bus, left naked in the road, ignored by many passers-by. The death of this unnamed woman in Delhi has galvanised fury across India. Civil unrest, demonstrations and vigils closed down swathes of the city; Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, was booed when she tried to address the crowds. State and national governments are seriously alarmed.
Good. About time too.
Brother says fight for justice for medical student has just begun, as father describes how family is still in shock after brutal attack.
Speaking to the newspaper, the woman's father added that his family has been consumed by grief.
"It is too painful. I have not gone inside her room. She was born in this house. Her books, clothes they are all here.
"It is hard to believe I will never hear her voice again," he said.
The viciousness of the assault on the young woman has left most Indians stunned and many say they are in no mood to celebrate.

Geeta Pandey
BBC News, Delhi
There has been an unprecedented outpouring of anger and grief in India and on the eve of the New Year, many say they have decided not to celebrate.
Many private clubs, hotels and citizens have decided to cancel or tone down their planned festivities.
Delhi's Gymkhana Club has asked its 7,000 members to come and light candles to show solidarity with the victim, while the Chelmsford Club, the Delhi Golf Club and the Press Club of India have decided to call off their celebrations.
The film industry in Mumbai has also joined the mourners with many Bollywood stars saying they have nothing to celebrate this year.
Reports said Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and his wife, MP Jaya Bachchan, were extremely upset by the incident and that "all plans in the Bachchan family for the New Year have been cancelled".
`'To change a society as conservative, traditional and patriarchal as ours, we will have a long haul," said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research. `'It will take some time, but certainly there is a beginning."
In the streets and in parliament, calls rose for stringent and swift punishment against those attacking women, including a proposal to make rapists eligible for the death penalty. As the calls for action grew louder, two more gang-rapes were reported, including one in which the 10-year-old victim was killed.
The Indian government failed to stem a wave of furious protest against the gang-rape of a student on Sunday, as a journalist was shot dead by police during a demonstration against another sex attack.
Rape is an occurrence which, according to official statistics occurred approximately 16,000 times annually during the 1980s. By 2006 the official figure for rape was over 55 000 , unofficially, based on the premise put forward by the National Institute of Crime Rehabilitation that only one in twenty rapes are reported, the figure is over 494,000 a year.
This means that on average approximately one thousand three hundred women can be expected to be raped a day in South Africa.



Change.orgAfter the death of a 23-year-old student who was gang-raped and beaten, Namita is asking the Indian government to take action to stop this recurring.
Sign Namita's Petition

Trigger warning: this email contains information about sexual assault that may be triggering to survivors.

She was 23, with a marriage just months away. But two weeks ago, she was gang raped by six men, savagely beaten and thrown out of a moving bus in Delhi. The still unnamed woman who has become “India’s daughter”, just died of her injuries in hospital. 

Namita Bhandare knows the constant fear that goes with living in Delhi, nicknamed India’s “rape capital”. Like others, she long believed that nothing would change. But the outpouring of anger and sadness now has convinced her that this could be a turning point for women like her.

The tragedy has sparked vigils and protests, and over 100,000 Indians have already signed Namita's petition to the Prime Minister. As the story reverberates around the world, being covered by every major news outlet, there's a chance for Australians to help show the Indian Prime Minister that their international reputation is on the line if they fail to act.

Click here to sign Namita’s petition asking the Indian government to actively prosecute rape cases, introduce compulsory sensitivity training for police, and pass two proposed laws to protect women.

The story of “India’s daughter” has sparked deep grief and fury across India. Grief for her horrifying ordeal, and fury that politicians have ignored the huge problem of rape and sexual violence against women for so long. 

According to crime statistics, a woman is raped every 22 minutes, and most rapists are never prosecuted. Women are often blamed for their own rapes, police refuse to hear reports from victims, and some women report being harassed by the very authorities they hope will protect them. 

Politicians are being faced with some uncomfortable truths. But Namita says that unless people seize this moment of national consciousness, the chance to change anything will slip away. That’s why she’s asking for global support to show the world is watching.

Click here to sign Namita’s petition, and ask the Indian government to do everything in its power to make sure tragedies like this are never repeated.

Thanks for being a part of this,

Karen and the team

This message is from Namita Bhandare, who started the petition "President, CJI: Stop Rape Now!," which you signed on

On Monday morning a small group of us took our petition with 109,000+ signatures to the Justice J.S. Verma Commission at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. We presented the three-volume petition, along with your signatures and suggestions. In case you'd like to write directly to Justice Verma directly his email is: The commission will be receiving suggestions and recommendations until January 5.
Meanwhile, we will continue with this campaign and keep it updated. As next steps we are writing to various MPs asking them to put pressure on the Government to give priority to the pending bills relating to women safety.
I wish you all a very happy and safe new year.
Thank you for your support.
Namita Bhandare

View the petition  |  View and reply to this message online

A UKRAINIAN teenager has died three weeks after being set on fire in a gang rape attack that raised doubts about the competence of police.
Oksana Makar, 18, was raped by three men in their early 20s, strangled with a cord, burnt and left for dead in an attack in the southern city of Mykolayiv, investigators said.
A passer-by found Oksana after she was dumped by her attackers at an abandoned construction site. She was taken to hospital with burns over 55 per cent of her body, requiring the amputation of an arm.
She died on Thursday in a specialist hospital in the eastern city of Donetsk, the clinic announced.
The chief doctor of the Donetsk burns centre, Emil Fistal, said: ''Imagine: she was strangled and they [the attackers] thought she had died. So they burnt her.
''She was lying there 10 hours in the freezing cold and inhaled the byproducts of the burning.''
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov vowed that the attackers would be punished ''without compromise''.
Ukrainian media have alleged that the suspected attackers - two of whom were initially allowed to go free - are the sons of parents with strong connections to leading local officials.
The mother of one suspect used to be the head of a district in the Mykolayiv region, the regional interior ministry said.
Makar's mother posted on YouTube a harrowing video of Oksana in hospital where she raises up the stump of her arm and says she feels ''awful''.
In another disturbing video leaked to Ukrainian media, one of the suspects is shown calmly relating to investigators how the three raped Oksana and then killed her when she threatened to call police.
All three have been charged with premeditated rape and murder. Authorities say several officials from the police and local prosecutors were fired and reprimanded for initially letting the suspects go free.


NEW DELHI — A bone test is being conducted to confirm the age of a juvenile suspect in custody for the fatal assault and gang-rape of a young woman, while prosecutors will seek the death penalty for the other five men arrested with him, police said Tuesday.

The six will be formally charged in court on Thursday on accusations that they kidnapped, gang-raped and murdered the 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in the capital New Delhi on Dec. 16, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told reporters.

Media reports say some 30 witnesses have been gathered, and the charges have been detailed in a document running into more than 1,000 pages.

Outraged Indians have been demanding the death penalty for the six men, holding demonstrations almost every day since the rape. Murder is punishable by death and rape by life imprisonment. But juveniles — those below 18 years of age — cannot be prosecuted for murder.

Another police officer said a bone test is being conducted to determine if the youngest suspect in the case is indeed a juvenile. If the test determines he is 18 years or older he will be treated as a legal adult, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose sensitive information.

The brutality of this case has made Indians confront the reality that sexual violence is deeply entrenched in the society. Women face daily harassment, from catcalls on streets and groping in buses to rapes. Often police refuse to accept complaints by victims and even blame them for inviting unwanted male attention by dressing provocatively. Families too dissuade victims from coming forward in the belief that it will ruin their reputations.

Activists hope that the savage assault on the young woman, a physiotherapy student, will shake off the taboo associated with sexual violence and make the authorities take such cases more seriously.

The young woman and a male companion were attacked when they got into an off-duty bus in southern New Delhi to go back home. The six men, including the bus driver, took turns to rape her and beat her with an iron bar which they also inserted in her body causing severe injuries to her organs.

The woman, who has not been identified, was airlifted to Singapore for emergency treatment but died on Saturday. She was cremated in New Delhi on Sunday, and the ashes were to be submerged in the holy river Ganges near her hometown in the northern Uttar Pradesh state in accordance with Hindu customs.

Protesters and politicians from across the spectrum called for a special session of Parliament to pass new laws to increase punishments for rapists — including possible chemical castration — and to set up fast-track courts to deal with rape cases within 90 days.

Thousands of Indians have lit candles, held prayer meetings and marched through various cities and towns to express their grief and demand stronger protection for women and the death penalty for rape, which is now punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment. The protests continued on Tuesday.

On Monday, the Indian army and navy cancelled their New Year’s Eve celebrations, as did Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party. Several hotels and clubs across the capital also did not hold their usual parties.


OK, agree with all that's been written above about the need for change. Anyone care to proffer some specific measures they think should be implemented?

By education and by piling pressure politicians. Social media has empowered the ability to campaign more effectively.

Incredible, over 900,000 signers to an AVAAZ petition in days! We have 24 hours until the commission closes -- let's blow through a million!

BHOPAL, India (AFP) - A Swiss female tourist was gang-raped in central India in front of her husband, police said Saturday, renewing the focus on the issue of sexual violence against women in the South Asian nation.

The woman was on a cycling trip with her husband in impoverished Madhya Pradesh state when seven to eight men attacked the couple late Friday while they were camping, sexually assaulting the woman and robbing the pair, police said.

The attackers "tied up the man and raped the woman in his presence", local police official S.M. Afzal told AFP, adding that they stole 10,000 rupees ($185) and a mobile phone from the woman.

The attack comes just months after thousands took to the streets to protest against India's treatment of women following the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi in December.

"We are deeply shocked by this tragic incident suffered by a Swiss citizen and her partner in India," the Swiss foreign ministry in Bern said in a statement.

The Swiss ministry said its diplomats in India were in contact with local authorities and that it hoped the attackers would be "swiftly identified and would appear before a court to answer for their actions".

The couple were on their way to the tourist destination of Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal monument, in northern India when they stopped to camp for the night.

"The victims, who belong to Switzerland, put up a tent to stay overnight" in a forested area near a village when the attack occurred, Afzal said.

Indian media reports said the men were wielding sticks when they attacked the couple around 50 kilometres (35 miles) from Orchha, a popular foreign tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh.

After the attack, the rape victim, aged about 40, was admitted to hospital in Gwalior city, 212 miles (342 kilometres) from state capital Bhopal, local police official M.S. Dhodee said.

The woman was released on Saturday from hospital, authorities said.

Ram Singh, one of six accused on trial over the December assault was found hanged in his high-security jail cell in New Delhi. Police suspect he hanged himself, but his family says he was murdered.

Under a new bill approved by India's cabinet earlier in the week, rapists face a minimum 20-year jail term and the death penalty if the victim dies from her injuries or is left in a persistent vegetative state.

Rape is one aspect of a wide range of violence, including domestic assaults, against women in India that claims many thousands of lives each year, according to rights workers.
According to government crime statistics, one woman is raped every 20 minutes in India, but most incidents go unreported, mainly due to the victims' fear of being stigmatised in the sexually conservative nation.