Protest for Justice
In December 2012, the brutal rape and subsequent death of a 23 years old female student quickly gained attention in India and abroad.
The woman was beaten and raped in the moving bus. Medical reports later said that the woman suffered major injuries to be abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault. In the days immediately following the inhumane incident, protestors staged large demonstrations at Delhi’s India Gate and outside government buildings, including Rashtrapati Bahavan, the official residence of India’s President.
People no longer wanted to sit back and wait for the government’s action. They knew very well that “Justice delayed is justice denied”. Thus thousands of protestors clashed with police and battled Rapid Action Force units. Demonstrators were lathi charged, shot with water cannon and tear gas shells, and arrested. Similar protests occurred throughout the country. Thousands of people silently marched while others started a hunger strike. Protests occurred online as well on the social networking sites like Facebook and WhatsApp, with users replacing their profile images with a black dot symbol. Tens of thousands signed an online petition protesting the incident. Many of the mourners carried candles and wore black dress ,some pasted black cloth across their mouths. Some of the protestors drew graffiti and slogans on papers spread on the road, condemning the incident and demanding stricter laws and speedy judgement.
The incident made breaking news all across the globe. It sparked protests across South Asia, including marches and rallies in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. In Paris, people participated in a march to the Indian embassy where a petition was handed over asking for action to make India safer for women.
The demand for severe punishment for the perpetrators led to the death sentence for four of the accused while one died in the police custody and one was a juvenile who was given the maximum sentence of three years imprisonment in a reform facility.
The incident left a deep scar on the minds of everyone. This was a remarkable event of social importance where the entire country stood together and demanded justice.