Rage over Delhi gang-rape spreads
The rage spread, rapidly and steadily, through the national capital on Friday as students, activists and just concerned citizens gathered at various places in the city to protest the torture and gang rape of a young woman, now battling to stay alive in a Delhi hospital.
As the protests literally reached President Pranab Mukherjee's doorstep, with angry demonstrators going right up till the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan and one even managing to enter the complex, Delhi police detained a fifth person for the crime.
The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, on its part, summoned Union Home Secretary RK Singh and Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar on December 27 to discuss atrocities against women and the law and order situation in the national capital.
In scenes unprecedented in the city, multiple protests broke out - at India Gate, Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jantar Mantar in the heart of Lutyens Delhi as well as outside Safdarjung Hospital, where the 23-year-old victim of the savage gang-rape fought a valiant battle against her injuries but continued to stay critical.
Rarely, if ever, have so many people taken to the streets in so many different places for a single cause. It was an unstoppable momentum. Demanding justice and fast track courts, many people have rallied in protest in the capital in the five days since the incident Sunday night, when the physiotherapist intern was brutally assaulted and her male friend beaten in a moving bus. Both were stripped and dumped by the roadside near the domestic airport in a critical condition after the nearly 40-minute ordeal.
The residence of Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit and the police headquarters have all witnessed the spontaneous outpouring of anger. "About 250 protestors thronged the high-security zone of Rashtrapati Bhavan. We had to divert them back to India Gate," a senior police official told IANS after forces tried in vain to control the surging demonstrators.
Swati, a student at the YWCA, managed to slip past the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan, before she was pushed back.
Faced with the growing outrage, with protests not just in New Delhi but also elsewhere in the country, Delhi Police detained a man from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.
As people hit the streets of Delhi to vent their grief and anger, the Sir Gangaram Hospital in central Delhi offered the victim free intestinal transplant. Doctors treating the woman said their focus was on providing her the best treatment as her life was at grave risk. She underwent surgery to remove a gangrenous section of intestine, and there was risk of infection.
The young woman and her uncertain future were focal points for the entire nation, even for a group of Muslim clerics in Mumbai who said rape could only be stemmed through a change in the present "capitalistic, patriarchal" social system.
Police get court rape on report
The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the police for being “evasive” in its probe status report in providing details of its officers on patrol duty in the area covered by the bus in which a young paramedical girl was gang raped for about 40 minutes. “In the (earlier) order, the police commissioner was also directed to file a report giving details of the police officers patrolling in the area and the action taken in this aspect.
“On this aspect a report is filed... We have gone through the report and we are not convinced. None of the details of the police officers have been mentioned,” a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan said. The court expressed its unhappiness and said, “We make it clear such a report, giving all the details, be filed without any delay.”
- Asian Tribune -