31 Dec 2012

Pressure on govt over fatal rape case

5:17 pm on 31 December 2012

Pressure is on the Indian Government to toughen anti-rape laws after the death of a woman who was attacked and raped in the capital, Delhi. Her funeral was held on Sunday.

The woman died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on Saturday after the attack on 16 December, which took place on a bus in New Delhi.

The medical student was raped and beaten with an iron rod before being thrown from the vehicle, along with her male companion.

Six men are charged with murder.

The case has triggered a mass outpouring of grief and anger in India, with protests continuing as her body was cremated at a private ceremony in Delhi.

Official figures show that 228,650 of the total 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year were against women, with the number of rapes in the capital rising 17% to 661 this year.

Several thousand people massed in the Jantar Mantar thoroughfare in central Delhi on Sunday. Some called for the death penalty for rapists.

But the ABC reports the demonstration was largely peaceful, unlike previous rallies where police used batons, water cannon and teargas in clashes with protesters.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered an inquiry. He said Delhi police would soon launch a drive to recruit more female officers as a confidence-building measure.

The government also announced plans to post the photos, names and addresses of convicted rapists on official websites to publicly shame them.