The father of the 23-year-old Delhi woman, who died of injuries sustained when she was gang-raped and brutally beaten up in a moving bus on the night of December 16, wants her name to be made public.
“It will be nice if the new law is named after my daughter. People should always remember her as the fighter,” he told DNA. He feels if she is named, she will become an inspiration for others. It will also give strength to other rape survivors, who have to still face social stigma, he said.
Last Tuesday, Union minister Shashi Tharoor had tweeted: “Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhiGangRape victim. Why not name & honour her as a real person w/own identity?”
In an interview to The Sunday People, the UK-based Daily Mirror’s Sunday edition, the father said: “We want the world to know her real name. My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself. 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.”
His comments sparked off a debate on the social media. Naming her would give a face to the movement seeking strict laws for crimes against women, a Facebook post said. Another said the victim already has several pseudonyms given by the media and the people will fight back.
The newspaper posted the father’s picture with his name. It then revealed the victim’s name, saying it had the permission of the father.
But the Indian Penal Code does not allow the name of a rape victim to be made public. According to Section 228A, disclosing the identity of a victim is punishable.
A victim in such offences can be named only if a written authorisation is given by an investigating officer or the victim herself or the next of kin in case the victim is no more.
The father told DNA that his daughter was not responsible for whatever happened to her. “Till now, we had not decided what to do. But now is the right time... Why should we hide when she had done no wrong?”
Doctors who treated his daughter at Safdarjung hospital always maintained that she was a fighter. Despite her grievous injuries, she wanted to live.
“I want her to become an inspiration for the nation,” the father told DNA.
On December 16, the woman was raped by six men, and she and her friend, who was with her in the bus, were brutally beaten up, stripped, and thrown out of a moving bus.