Hundreds of people gathered in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and other Indian cities on 2 December to demand justice in the case of a veterinarian who was gang-raped and killed last week.
The protesters demanded a fast-track investigation of the case and stringent laws for the safety of women in India.
“We are not safe anymore in India. We are scared to move out of our homes,” said Sejal Kumar, a college student from New Delhi.
The burned body of the 27-year-old woman was found on 28 November by a passer-by in an underpass in the southern city of Hyderabad after she went missing the previous night.
Police said four suspects have been taken into custody.
Violent crimes against women have been in the spotlight in India since 2012, when the fatal gang rape of a young woman aboard a moving bus in New Delhi prompted hundreds of thousands to take to the streets to demand stricter laws against rape.
The attack spurred quick action on legislation that doubled prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalised voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women.
Politicians also voted to lower to 16 from 18 the age at which a person can be tried as an adult for heinous crimes.
According to the most recent available official crime records, police registered 33,658 cases of rape in India in 2017, an average of more than 90 every day.
But the real figure is believed to be far higher as many women in India do not report cases to police due to fear.
The data also show that more than 90% of cases of crimes against women are pending in city courts.
Last week’s incident was also discussed in parliament.
India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh said the attack had “brought shame to the entire country”.
“It has hurt everyone.
“The accused must be given the most stringent punishment for their crime,” Singh said.
Activists in India say the government has failed to control rising crimes against women.
Jyoti Badekar, a women’s rights activist from Mumbai, said an inadequate number of female police staff is one of the factors contributing to the problem.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?