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On Delhi gang-rape first anniversary, Lawmakers seek stringent laws for women safety

Monday, 16 December 2013 - 7:25pm IST | Agency: ANI
Lawmakers stressed on the need for stringent measures for women security and called for faster trials of the accused involved in such crimes on the first anniversary of brutal Delhi gang rape case.
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Cutting across party lines, lawmakers on Monday stressed on the need for stringent measures for women security and called for faster trials of the accused involved in such crimes on the first anniversary of brutal Delhi gang rape case.

A young physiotherapist was gang raped on a moving bus on December 16, 2012, an incident that shook the nation and sparked massive protests.

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said: "The judiciary should give fast decisions and orders. Police should become more vigilant and they are becoming. And, society should also improve."

As the bus drove through the streets of the capital, the men repeatedly raped the girl and penetrated her with a metal bar before dumping her and her friend, naked and semi-conscious, onto the road.

Her friend later recovered, but the woman's internal injuries were so severe that she died in a Singapore hospital two weeks after the attack.

National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma said: “ The day before yesterday, I was with Nirbhaya’s (one of many names given to Delhi gang rape victim) mother. She was crying and she said that he (one of the accused in gang rape case) was not a juvenile. I think that age should be reduced because the way crimes are taking place, children between age group 12 and 18 years are equally getting involved in such crimes.

They shouldn’t be left off just because of the age. And the court has also not carried out proper investigation. To not give him strict punishment means that proper investigation has not been done in this case.

The case turned a global spotlight on the treatment of women in India, where the police say a rape is reported every 20 minutes.

The incident sparked public outrage across India, bringing thousands of people onto the streets in protest against authorities' failure to ensure women safety.

Hundreds of students and activists blocked roads in New Delhi and marched to the President's house, demanding execution of the guilty.

Under immense pressure, the government had set up a special "fast-track" court to try the accused men quickly in a country where rape trials tend to congest courts for five to 10 years.

Congress Party leader and spokesman Janardhan Dwivedi said: “The way this incident has shaken the nation, value of social security has come to the fore and not only the nation but the entire world is taking about this incident. I believe that the viewpoint of the society is praiseworthy and I hope that the consciousness of people never fades away.

The case led to the introduction of tougher rape laws. And for the first time open debates about gender crime were held on television and social media.

The new law included a minimum 20-year prison sentence for rape and, in the event of the death of the victim or is reduced to a "vegetative" state, death penalty.

In March, the bus driver, Ram Singh, one of the guilty, hanged himself in the prison while another guilty, a teenager, was sentenced to three years in juvenile detention in August this year, after being tried separately.

Finally, on September 13, after a nine-month-long trial, bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, gym instructor Vinay Sharma, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta, and unemployed Mukesh Singh, were awarded death penalty by a New Delhi court.

The four adult convicts have filed a review petition in the Delhi High court against the death penalty, the trial for which is still on. 


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