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A Year After Gang Rape, Delhi Youth Want Attackers Punished And Society Educated

By Harsha
Journalism International             
India – A year after the brutal gang rape of a medical student aboard a bus in
Delhi,  young people interviewed there said the city still bears the stigma of the
horrific crime.
“Delhi had been not
just the capital of India,” said Puneet Kapoor, a 22-year-old student at the
JSS Academy of Technical Education in nearby Noida.  “It is also the rape capital of India.”


On December 16, 2012,
six men assaulted the young student as she tried to go home after a movie. The men
first severely beat her companion, then took turns raping her, assaulting her
with an iron rod and tearing out her intestines.
After the assault, the attackers,
including a teenage juvenile, tossed both victims onto the road and left
them to die. The woman died days later in a Singapore hospital; her friend
Chandni Rastogi, 22,
a student at the IIMT college of Engineering, Greater Noida, said the juvenile attacker
should face the same punishment as the others.


Chandni Rastogi
“According to me,
there is no age bar for punishment or crime,” said Rastogi. “A person, who has
the knowledge of raping a girl, or who knows that using a rod would lead to
which kind of injuries, should not be kept in the category of being a minor
when it comes to giving the punishment for such a hideous crime.”
Rastogi said it isn’t
fair that the juvenile attacker is treated better than innoc
ent Indian children
who don’t get the opportunities he does in confinement.
“The major problem
is with the Indian system for providing justice,” Rastogi said. “The minor
involved in this crime is getting all those facilities which normal illiterate
children of India are unable to receive, though they deserve them and are the
innocent one, not him. He gets to learn to cook, to write and read, he gets
medical facilities and now he wants to forget that particular night of his
life. Why should he? When the parents of that girl cannot do that, he has no
right to forget that night.”
Puneet Kapoor
Rastogi said all the
assailants should be punished severely and equally.
Kapoor said there
were many cases of rape before what he called the “monstrosity” – last year’s
gang rape on the bus – and said many went unreported.
“Due to many
reasons, one year after this case, I still see no difference in the scenario as
rapes continue to take place at large,” Kapoor said.
Shivam Verma
Shivam Verma, a 21-year-old student at
Jaypee Institute in Noida, decried the rape culture in India that trivializes,
tolerates or even condones violence against women.
Verma said much needs to be done to
make women feel safe in the country. Little progress, he said, has been made in
addressing the attitudes that legitimize violence and discrimination against
Ananya, a 21-year-old student at Jaypee
institute who uses a single name, said that what is seen in the larger cities
is not the true picture.
To bring real change, Ananya said, it’s imperative to empower all women, most of whom are still
financially and emotionally dependent on their male relatives.
Women can barely raise their heads or
voice in most households, she said, adding that literacy is key to change
because most women don’t even know their rights.
Verma said all citizens need to be
educated about the rights women have under the law. Gender sensitivity should
be developed at the grassroots level in schools, colleges and workplaces, Verma
said, to develop a society underpinned by respect and equality.
Kunwar Sandhu, 21, a student at the JSS
Academy of Technical Education, said the atrocious rape case last year brought
the viciousness of the system to light.
Kunwar Sandhu
“There was an outrage of opinions and
chaos of disgust that enveloped us,” Sandhu said, for the majority of the year,
with new cases continually arising.
The assailants in
the infamous gang rape are still alive, Kapoor said, “based on technicalities
like juvenile laws and human rights laws.”
He said strict laws
must be put in place or rapists will escape punishment.
“Stringent and
inhuman punishments is the only cure for such inhuman acts,” Kapoor said.