Ottawa Citizen

In­dia vows to pro­tect women

Vic­tim of as­sault flown to Sin­ga­pore

- RAVI NESS­MAN

NEW DELHI • In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh pledged Thurs­day to take ac­tion to pro­tect the na­tion’s women while the young vic­tim of a gang rape on a New Delhi bus was flown to Sin­ga­pore for treat­ment of se­vere in­ter­nal in­juries.

The Dec. 16 rape and beat­ing of the 23-year-old stu­dent trig­gered wide­spread protests, in­clud­ing a march on Thurs­day, de­mand­ing a crack­down on the daily ha­rass­ment In­dian women face. Some pro­test­ers have called for the death penalty or cas­tra­tion for rapists, who un­der cur­rent laws face a max­i­mum pun­ish­ment of life in prison.

Rape vic­tims rarely press charges be­cause of so­cial stigma and fear they will be ac­cused of invit­ing the at­tack. Many women say they struc­ture their lives around pro­tect­ing them­selves and their daugh­ters from at­tack.

Singh’s government set up two com­mit­tees in re­sponse to the protests. One has al­ready re­ceived 6,100 email sug­ges­tions. The sec­ond will ex­am­ine what might have contribute­d to the rape.

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