India Gang Rape Victim's Family Agree To Waive Anonymity For New Law

The family of the 23-year-old student who died after being brutally gang-raped in Delhi have agreed to waive her anonymity if the government names a revised anti-rape law after her as proposed.

Union Minister Shashi Tharoor said on Tuesday he wondered what purpose was served by concealing her identity. "Why not name and honour her as a real person with her own identity he said?"

He posted on Twitter "Unless her parents object, she should be honoured and the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name, not just a symbol."

Vigils have been held around the world for the victim

On Wednesday her family told thePress Trust of India (PTI): "If the government names the revised anti-rape law after her, they have no objection and it would be an honour to her".

Social activist and former police officer Kiran Bedi said using her name in this way could perpetuate her memory.

"What Mr Tharoor has said is maybe unique to India, but is not unique in the world," she told Reuters.

"Many of the American laws... which have been made to perpetuate the memory or the suffering of the victim, only to remember that this is what happened and this is the spirit behind the law... I think it's a good idea," she added.

Her death has sparked national outrage, with angry protests calling against a government which is perceived to have done little to tackle violence against women.

The attack has prompted protests

Demonstrators have called for the men to be hanged or even castrated. The Times of India reported that attack has prompted a surge in the numbers of women applying for gun licences and police have been flooded with enquires as to how to obtain a firearm.

During the rape, the victim was attacked by six men on a bus. A metal rod was inserted in her body as the bus drove around for 40 minutes. The sustained attack resulted in the removal of almost all of her intestines.

The victim and a male friend, who was also attacked, were thrown from the bus while it was still moving. Police in Delhi said the bus then tried to mow them down.

The unidentified woman died after suffering multiple organ failure and a heart attack.

Hundreds lined the banks of the sacred river in Bhahrauli, 600 miles from Delhi, to pay their respects alongside the victim's family on Tuesday. The funeral procession took over three hours to cover five miles, the crowds were so great, reported the Times of India.

Her brother has called for her attackers to be hanged, telling the Indian Express: "The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged, and we will fight for that, till the end."

Six people have been arrested for the attack. The suspects are likely to face the death penalty if found guilty, despite the sentence rarely being passed in India.

A DNA test is currently being conducted on the sixth suspect as he claims to be under 18, reported the Hindustan Times. Under Indian law juveniles cannot be prosecuted for murder.

Amid a renewed campaign to tackle the widespread and often unreported incidences of violence against women, the government has been galvanised into action. More police night patrols have been set up, buses with tinted windows or curtains have been banned and drivers of public transport are now subject to more checks, reported the BBC.

A telephone helpline has also been set up.

However social activists insist not enough is being done to tackle India's rape culture.

New Delhi has emerged as the 'rape capital' of India, with 25% of cases across the whole of India occurring in the capital, according to an Al Jazeera report.

A woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, according to figures quoted by the BBC.

Despite this, official figures show that there was only one conviction for rape in the whole of 2012. On the 26 of December, a 17-year old girl who had been gang-raped in Delhi was found dead, a note by her body blaming her attackers. It had taken over two weeks for her case to even be registered, amid allegations that officers had pressured her to withdraw her case and marry her attacker.

"It cannot be business as usual anymore," the Hindustan Times wrote in an editorial on 31 December.

Popular in the Community