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Forums » Misc » Indian rape victim's father says he wants her named
Page7 January at 1:19amPosts: 814 (0 today)Status: offline
Indian rape victim's father says he wants her named
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The father of an Indian student whose brutal rape provoked a global outcry said he wanted her name made public so she could be an inspiration to victims of sexual assault, a call that was quickly taken up by social media users and may pressure authorities to allow her identity to be revealed.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy student died on December 28 in a Singapore hospital, two weeks after a gang rape on a moving bus in New Delhi that ignited protests across India and neighboring countries and government promises of tougher punishments.
"We want the world to know her real name," the woman's father told Britain's Sunday People newspaper.
"My daughter didn't do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself," he added. "I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter."
The father's interview sparked widespread interest on social networking sites. Her name was the top trending topic among Indian Twitter users with many, including journalists and Bollywood actors, praising his decision to reveal her name.
Mainstream Indian media did not identify her, however, and she was still being referred to as "Amanat", an Urdu word meaning "treasure", by some TV channels.
A spokesman for Delhi Police declined to comment when asked if the authorities would take action against social networks or publications carrying the student's name.
There have been growing calls in India to name the victim. Politician Shashi Tharoor last week questioned the merit of keeping her anonymous, and suggested naming new anti-rape law after her, a proposal her father supported.
Indian law generally prohibits the identification of victims of sex crimes. The law is intended to protect victims' privacy and keep them from the media glare in a country where the social stigma associated with rape can be devastating.
The father later told Reuters he had no objections to the media using his daughter's name, but did not elaborate.
ACCUSED DUE IN COURT
Five men have been charged with gang rape and murder and will appear in a New Delhi court on Monday to hear the charges.
Rajiv Mohan, a prosecutor in the case, said Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital gave the cause of death as "septicaemia from multi-organ failure due to multiple organ injuries".
Mohan said the prosecution had matched DNA from her blood to blood found on the accused's clothes, and on hers, which one of the men had allegedly tried to burn to destroy evidence.
"The blood stain appearing on the burnt cloth has been tallied with the blood sample of the victim," Mohan told reporters on Saturday.
The British paper named the father and his daughter, saying that the father had given permission, but added that it would not publish a photo of her at the family's request. Reuters has opted not to identify the victim.
Mohan told Reuters the police and prosecution still had no intention of revealing her identity. The spokesman for Delhi police could not immediately be reached for comment.
"Even if family members have given their permission to disclose the victim's identity for a greater cause, we can't disclose her identity," Mohan said, citing section 228a of the Indian penal code.
Legal experts consulted by Reuters said a situation could arise where Indian media, wary of legal cases, chose not name her while foreign publications do.
Citing the same law, Delhi police have started legal proceedings against TV network Zee News after it ran an interview with a friend of the victim who was with her during the attack.
He accused the police of responding slowly and failing to cover the victim and himself after they were thrown from the bus without clothes and bleeding.
"The police is not taking any chances and wants to be in a controlling situation, scaring everybody off by filing (legal complaints)" said senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde, who predicted such complaints were unlikely to lead to prosecution.
Page23 January at 5:44amPosts: 814 (0 today)Status: offline
India gang rape trial to begin in fast-track court
NEW DELHI – The trial of five men accused of the rape and murder of a student aboard a bus in New Delhi will begin Thursday and should have none of the long delays commonly associated with India's justice system, a defense lawyer said after a brief hearing Monday.
Judge Yogesh Khanna denied a defense motion to make the proceedings public, ruling that the courtroom must remain closed because of the sensitive nature of the crime, said V.K. Anand, the lawyer for one of the defendants, Ram Singh.
The extreme brutality of the attack has sparked weeks of protests and focused national and international attention on India's rarely discussed crisis of violence against women. Monday's hearing was the first since the case was moved to a new fast-track court set up to deal specifically with crimes against women.
The five defendants' faces were covered by woolen scarves as they arrived in the court, surrounded by a phalanx of police. A sixth suspect in the attack claims to be a juvenile and his case is being handled separately.
The judge told the lawyers to prepare for opening statements to begin Thursday and agreed to a defense motion to hold the trial every day throughout the week, instead of allowing the gaps of weeks and months between hearings common in other courts, Anand said.
Defense lawyers are awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court on their motion to move the trial outside New Delhi because of the strong emotions in the city.
Police say the victim and a male friend were heading home from an evening movie Dec. 16 when they boarded a bus, where they were attacked by the six assailants. The attackers beat the man and raped the woman, causing her massive internal injuries with a metal bar, police said.
The victims were eventually dumped on the roadside, and the woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
Lawyers for the accused say police mistreated their clients and beat them to force them to confess.