India and rape have become two synonymous terms, or so it seems. Despite the gang rape of a 23-year-old girl inside a moving bus in the nation’s capital New Delhi last year evoking countrywide criticism and protests to chance the nation’s rape laws, women still remain unsafe in India, with at least one rape being reported every other day.
The latest incident that was instantly linked to the assault in New Delhi owing to its barbaric nature, happened on Thursday night in the city of Mumbai, touted to be one of the safest cities in India for women.
The victim in question was a 20 something year old photojournalist who had gone on a late evening assignment with her colleague to an abandoned textile mill in the former industrial district of Lower Parel. The irony of the fact is that the mill was really close to a neighborhood bustling with luxury apartments and malls.
The woman and her friend were apparently attacked by four local youth who were supposedly roaming in the nearby vicinity. Attacking the male first, the attackers tied him with a belt before dragging the woman away and taking turns to rape her. Their beastly deed finished, the group left the place. The victim’s friend managed to free himself and took her to a hospital in south Mumbai where she was admitted for grave injuries to her inner parts, and had to undergo a surgery. The victim is said to be recovering from the ordeal, and has put up a brave front by telling reporters that she wanted to resume work as soon as possible and that rape was not the end of life.
Thursday’s attack has again triggered a nationwide outcry and protest, with several individuals venting out their frustration on social media networks. While many expressed shock that the incident had occurred in Mumbai, others blamed the government for not cracking the whip on loose anti-rape laws and pending rape cases.
Accusations were hurled at the government in the upper house of the parliament by opposition lawmakers for not providing adequate protection for women in spite of passing stringent sex crime laws earlier this year. The police station in which the report was filed also show some agitation in the form of Shiv Sena supporters who gathered outside the station with banners and flags, protesting for quick justice to the victim.
Following the incident, the police nabbed all the four men who were involved in the rape. The men were identified as well, and if the municipal records are true, one of the perpetrators is a juvenile.
The Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh has revealed that the Mumbai police force would do its best to collect the necessary evidence in order to make a foolproof case that would ensure the perpetrators get maximum punishment. He has also requested the government to shift the case to the fast-track court for quick justice.
The incident on Thursday has brought back into the limelight, the plight of Indian women in the country today. The Delhi attack that occurred in December last year saw the victim die of her injuries. Following the incident, the Indian government introduced stricter rape laws in the month of March this year, with punishments amounting to death penalty for those who left their victims in a vegetative state after an incident, and those who are repeat offenders.
However, despite these stringent sex crime laws, public warnings and even arrests, women in the country still get raped or sexually assaulted (being groped or brushed in public places) on a day to day basis. And with Mumbai joining the list of cities that are not safe for Indian women anymore, one has to wonder as to what would be the plight of the common Indian woman in the country in the next few years.