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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Bus attack highlights India's rape epidemic

A brutal assault in New Delhi has led to public outrage and calls for tougher sentences for rapists.


Rarely has India, a country of more than a billion people, been so vigorously shaken out of its collective stupor than it has been in the recent days over the horrifying ordeal of a young woman on a speeding bus.

Ever since news broke that the 23-year-old medical student was brutally gang-raped by several men at the back seat of a bus in the nation’s capital New Delhi, shock, shame and outrage have engulfed India in equal measure.

Angry residents across Delhi and other cities have taken to the streets to protest. Stung by the outpouring over anger, even normally inert politicians and bureaucrats have joined the clamour for the harshest punishment for the culprits.

"It’s a day of national shame," lamented Jaya Bachchan, a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament which saw members cutting across party lines sink their differences to join ranks in condemning the crime. 

"Rapists should be hanged," said Neeraj Kumar, Delhi’s top police official, who said that he had never come across any other attack in his long career that matched the recent one's brutality.

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