India Gang-Rape Sets Off Women's Rights Debate
The country mourns as the 23-year-old student dies from her wounds, protesters push for reform.
India’s army and navy have canceled New Year’s celebrations out of respect for a 23-year-old physiotherapy student who was gang-raped and murdered Dec 16. Six men have been arrested and charged in the attack on a New Delhi bus. The country is still in mourning for the young woman, who died from her internal wounds last weekend, but has since called for tougher rape laws and police reforms.
Some politicians have suggested passing new laws to include chemical castration as a punishment for rapists and setting up fast-track courts to deal with rape cases within 90 days. On Monday, the Delhi government also inaugurated a new helpline—181—for women. Ranjana Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research, said that changing a society as conservative and patriarchal as India’s “will take some time, but certainly there is a beginning.”
If convicted, the six men charged in the murder will face the death penalty.