Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Justice for India’s Rape Victims

Influenced by extraordinary street protests, Indian authorities have moved swiftly to try the men accused of gang-raping a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in New Delhi. Clearly, justice must be served, but there are disturbing aspects to the way the case is being handled.

The victim died last month, two weeks after the brutal attack in which she was beaten, assaulted with an iron rod on a moving bus and then thrown bleeding onto the street. She had taken the bus after seeing a movie with a male friend, who was also beaten. Thousands of Indians have demonstrated and called for justice. 

The case has brought to light India’s growing problem with violence against women. It has underscored serious weaknesses in the judicial system, which encourages women not to bring charges against rapists and rarely brings to justice those who are accused. Incompetent police are also part of the problem. The victim’s male companion said later that police were slow to respond and then wasted more time wrangling over who had jurisdiction over the crime. 

This is from a NYTimes editorial.  Tom

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