India protests as gang-rape victim dies in Singapore
The attack of an Indian gang-rape victim who died in Singapore on last Saturday has sparked protests over gender equality, which has been ongoing for two weeks.
Protesters are calling for new laws on rape and violence against woman. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also expressed concerns for gender equality in the country: “Every girl and woman has the right to be respected, valued and protected,” Ki-moon said, in a statement in which he welcomed efforts by the government but called for “further steps and reforms to deter such crimes and bring perpetrators to justice”.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as well as other political officials, have been heavily scrutinised for their handling of the case, including their allegedly slow and high-handed response to the incident, which has generated outrage across the country.
This is a huge blow for India on the world stage alongside allegations of corruption and human rights violations. Figures published on Sunday revealed that despite 635 reported cases of rape and 745 arrests in Delhi this year, there had been only one conviction.
The identity of the victim has been shrouded in secrecy, although more information about her life is coming to light. She was a funny, bright and independent woman and the eldest of three children. Her body was cremated according to Hindu rites at a crematorium in Delhi shortly after dawn on Sunday and the funeral was heavily guarded.
Six men arrested for the 16th December rape have been charged with murder. If convicted, they face the death penalty.