India vows to protect women
Victim of assault flown to Singapore
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.