Gang rape on bus in India sparks outraged protests

Featured - December 19th, 2012

Outrage erupted in India over the gang rape of a woman on a private bus in New Delhi as lawmakers and activists urged the government to crack down on the crimes against women that have become rampant in the capital.

Opposition lawmakers protested outside Parliament on Wednesday demanding death penalty for the six men who raped a 23-year old medical student and beat her companion with iron rods after offering the couple a ride home on a private bus, AP reports.

“She will live her whole life as a living corpse if she survives,” Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the opposition in the lower house said. “Why should there not be the death penalty in such a case?”

The attack occurred on Sunday evening when the medical student, along with a male friend, were trying to find a ride home. A bus pulled over, purporting to be public transport. The men began harassing the woman and beat her friend when he tried to intervene, the police said. Both were stripped of their clothing, the woman was raped and they were thrown out of the bus onto a national highway. The woman had suffered several internal injuries and was in critical condition.

Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar said four men have been arrested and a search was underway for the other suspects.

“A terrible, terrible atrocity has happened,” Renuka Chowdury, a member of Parliament, said Tuesday as protests and condemnation erupted. “I am not going to allow this incident to become another statistic.”

Assaults on women are often ignored in the country but the recent increase of crime against women has stoked anger and public discontent on the seeming inability of the government to ensure safety of women.