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In Indian student's gang rape‚ murder‚ two worlds collide

  

REUTERS

Policemen stand guard outside the cremation ground during the funeral of a rape victim after her body arrived from Singapore, in New Delhi December 30, 2012.

REUTERS

NEW DELHI: One of hundreds of attacks reported in New Delhi each year, the brutal gang rape and murder of a young medical student in a private bus this month caught authorities and political parties flat-footed, slow to appreciate it had become symbolic of all the others.


In the moments before the December 16 attack, the 23-year-old woman from India's urban middle class, who had recently qualified as a trainee physiotherapist in a private Delhi hospital, and her male friend, a software engineer, were walking home from a cinema at a shopping mall in south Delhi, according to a police reconstruction of events.


A bus, part of a fleet of privately owned vehicles used as public transport across the city of 16 million, and known as India's "rape capital", was at the same time heading toward them. Earlier that day, it had ferried school students but was now empty except for five men and a teenage boy, including its crew, police said. Most of the men were from the city's slums.


One of the six - all now charged with murder - lured the couple onto the bus, promising to drop the woman home, police have said, quoting from an initial statement that she gave from her hospital bed before her condition deteriorated rapidly.


A few minutes into the ride, her friend, 28, grew suspicious when the bus deviated from the supposed route and the men locked the door, according to her statement. They then taunted her for being out with a man late at night, prompting the friend to intervene and provoking an initial scuffle.


The attackers then beat him with a metal rod, knocking him unconscious, before turning on the woman who had tried to come to his defense. Police say the men admitted after their arrest to torturing and raping the student "to teach her a lesson".


At one point, the bus driver gave the wheel to another of the accused and dragged the woman by the neck to the back of the vehicle and forced himself upon her. The other five then took turns raping her and also driving the bus, keeping it circling through the busy streets of India's capital city, police said.


The woman was raped for nearly an hour before the men pushed a metal rod inside her, severely damaging her internal organs, and then dumped both her and her friend on the roadside, 8 km (5 miles) from where they had boarded it, police said.


Robbed of their clothes and belongings, they were found half naked, bleeding and unconscious later that night by a passerby, who alerted the police.


FAMILY ROLE MODEL


The woman, whose identity has been withheld by police, gave her statement to a sub-divisional magistrate on December 21 in the intensive care unit of Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, according to local media reports. She was undergoing multiple surgical procedures and her condition later began to rapidly worsen.


Ten days after the attack and still in a critical condition, she was flown to Singapore for specialist treatment. She died in Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital two days later. Her body was flown back to Delhi and cremated there on Sunday in a private ceremony.


Family members who had accompanied her to Singapore declined to speak to reporters, but relatives told the Times of India newspaper she had been a role model to her two younger brothers.


Unlike most traditional Indian families who only send their sons to fee-paying colleges or universities, her parents pinned their hopes on the daughter and took loans to fund her studies.


She was born and brought up in a middle class Delhi neighborhood after her family moved to the city more than 20 years ago from India's northern Uttar Pradesh state.


Her male friend recorded his statement to a local court days after the attack and helped police identify the six accused. He left for his hometown in Uttar Pradesh late on Saturday, missing the woman's funeral, local media reported.


SHAME, ANGER IN SLUM


Four of the accused, all in custody, live in the narrow by-lanes of Ravi Das Camp, a slum about 17 km (11 miles) from the woman's home in southwest Delhi. Inside the slum - home to some 1,200 people who eke out a meager living as rickshaw pullers and tea hawkers - many demanded the death penalty for the accused.


"The incident has really shocked all of us. I don't know how I will get my children admitted to a school. The incident has earned a bad name to this place," said Pooja Kumari, a neighbor of one of the accused.


Girija Shankar, a student, said: "Our heads hang in shame because of the brutal act of these men. They must reap what they have sown."


The house of one of the accused was locked, with neighbors saying his family had left the city to escape the shame and anger. Meena, a 45-year-old neighbor, said she had wanted to join the protests that followed the rape, but was too scared.


"You never know when a mob may attack this slum and attack our houses. But we want to say we're as angry as the entire nation. We want them to be hanged," she said.


Two of the six alleged assailants come from outside Delhi, according to police. One is married with children and was arrested in his native village in Bihar state and the other, a juvenile, is a runaway from a broken home in Uttar Pradesh.


In India, murder is punishable by death by hanging, except in the case of offenders aged below 18.

Comments1

(Dec. 29, 2012): RAW has used the gang rape of the 23-year old Delhi girl and countrywide outrage to divert attention from my press releases this month about the "Anglo-American enforcement of their ownership of India", from the killing of over ten million Indians in just the ten years after 1857 by the British to enforce their will to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan to drone attacks on Pakistan to the trafficking of Indian children to be used as food -- RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom -- and the total possession and rape of India by the Anglo-Americans and their white friends in economic, military and all spheres with CIA's rule over India via RAW that I have described at WhatYouShouldKnowAboutRAWDOTblogspotDOTcom. Like keeping Indians and Pakistanis fighting each other rather than their white oppressors, this is meant to keep Indians focused on rapes of Indians by Indians and not on their incomparably more violent rape and domination by the white countries and all the Indians participating in this RAW-sponsored event are participating in the enforcement of Anglo-American ownership of India, in the rape of India. JoinIndiaWarOfIndependenceDOTblogspotDOTcom In service of its white masters RAW has committed innumerable terrorist acts in India taking part even in the Mumbai attack of 2008, carried out train accidents killing hundreds in each incident, sabotage of India's defence equipment, spreading AIDS in India to provide the white countries a population of guinea pigs for vaccine development, murders including those of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, etc., etc. The minor who has been arrested at first was reported to have assaulted only the victim's male friend but not taken part in the rape but later was assigned the responsibility for, by himself, having mutilated her intestines and other internal organs with an iron rod, because a minor can get away with confinement in a juvenile facility for a couple of years no matter what the crime. These may have been RAW operatives who committed the crime. There were no reports of the serious injuries to the victim's internal organs until about two days after she had been admitted to the hospital. The injuries to her internal organs may have been inflicted on her by a member of the hospital staff at RAW's behest, even under the pretext of doing surgery, or by a RAW operative who gained access to her after she had been admitted to the hospital. (Dec. 31, 2012) A surgeon named Shiv Shankar Sastry in Bangalore on the defence board Bharat-RakshakDOTcom using the handle "shiv" who is a RAW operative directed the mutilation of the above victim. An Indian physician who uses the handle "gakakkad" on Bharat-Rakshak and was apparently doing a fellowship in cardiology in the United States until recently works for CIA-RAW and participated in the above crime. Documentation of K. Subrahmanyam coming on line, along with the CIA Director Michael Hayden, on August 9, 2008 and offering to transfer one crore rupees into my bank account within 48 hours if I agreed to work for the CIA -- which shows Indian governments, in the present and in the past, to be proxies for the CIA -- can be seen via HaydenSubrahmanyamDOTblogspotDOTcom . Satish Chandra Satish Chandra, Toronto

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