Anti-rape protesters brutalised in India

Anti-rape protesters brutalised in India

Violence against women in India has reached epidemic proportions. This year there have been 256,000 violent crimes, of which 228,000 have been against women. There is a woman raped in India every 20 minutes, and the rate is rising. Last week saw the brutal rape of a young student on a Delhi bus by 6 drunken men. Indians decided to peacefully protest and demand justice. The state had other ideas….

The victim of the rape is still critically ill in hospital. She is a 23 year old Physiotherapy student who, after her male companion was beaten unconscious, was grabbed on a bus by six men, gang raped and beaten with an iron bar for more than half an hour before being thrown naked and bleeding from the moving vehicle onto the side of the road.

She has managed to provide a statement re her attack and several people have subsequently been arrested in connection with the attack.

This latest rape is one of many, but has captured the public mood amid dismay about the ever increasing number of sex attacks. In Delhi alone, the number of ‘reported’ rapes has risen by 17% this year - and 875% across India over the last 40 years.

Indians sick of attacks on women, and of lack of justice, have staged a series of peaceful protests across the country. The state have responded by ‘banning’ gatherings of more than 5 people, created ‘no go zones’, set up barricades, and have closed down public transport in key areas.

Protesters that have refused to disperse have been brutalised with bamboo sticks, steel poles, batons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons. As soon as the protesters responded to being attacked by state forces, a police spokesman has labelled them as ‘hooligans’ and ‘trouble makers’, who had taken over peaceful protests.

TV footage and countless photographs taken across India clearly shows that the protests have been hijacked by hooligans – but the hooligans in question are all wearing police uniforms.

Pitched battles have been raging across the country for the last two days. There are reports that at least 65 protesters have been injured, along with 75 police officers. One journalist has been shot and killed by police as the opened fire on a large crowd.

A student at a Delhi University has said that:

Quote:
“Until and unless the government understands the pulse of the people and imposes strict action against these criminals, we will not relent."

Delhi has been labelled as the ‘rape capital of India’, yet rather than focusing of the rapists, the attitude of the state is to blame the victims:

Quote:
“All six of the alleged assailants from last Saturdays attack have been arrested, but Delhi’s police are viewed by many as lazy, corrupt, and incompetent, and of routinely dismissing sex assault complaints. Senior officers are regularly quoted as saying that women who are sexually assaulted have themselves to blame – for wearing jeans, for being out at night, for talking to boys, or getting into cars with them. Even senior female politicians have blamed women for attacks.” The Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit said that she hated the ‘rape capital’ tag and supported the death penalty for rapists, but last year, after a woman was raped and murdered on the city’s outskirts, her response was – “All by herself at 3am…..you should not be so adventurous”.

An investigative magazine, ‘Tehelka’, recently interviewed scores of senior police officers from around Delhi about the rise of rapes. Their responses overwhelmingly accused women of inviting attacks on them.

The protests are now into a seventh day, and are showing no signs of rescinding.

Solidarity with all those protesting in India!

Posted By

working class s...
Dec 23 2012 19:47

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  • This latest rape is one of many, but has captured the public mood amid dismay about the ever increasing number of sex attacks. In Delhi alone, the number of ‘reported’ rapes has risen by 17% this year - and 875% across India over the last 40 years.

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Comments

petey
Dec 24 2012 03:18
Quote:
Just to reach the protest sites, the crowds defied multiple government efforts to keep them away. Officials had shut down many central subway stations, curtailed bus service, diverted traffic and even invoked a law making it illegal for more than a few people to gather. Dozens who had camped overnight at protests sites were arrested and dragged away.

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/protests-over-rape-turn-violent-in-delhi/?hp

Soapy
Dec 27 2012 02:53

Is criminalizing rape such a great thing to be protesting in favor of? Groups such as INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence argue that the criminalization of rape and domestic abuse in the US in many ways has a negative impact because it is used by the US government to further criminalize the lives of people of color.

I have almost no knowledge of the situation in India and would like to hear some views on this.

working class s...
Dec 28 2012 22:13

Victim has now died

Tom de Cleyre
Dec 28 2012 22:46

Soapy, the fundamentally anti-Black US prison industry has little to do with women self-organising against rape in India and you are misrepresenting the views of Incite!.

That said, yes, anarchists are against prisons (even if they were not racist and not-for-profit), and also against rape. Incite! has articles on intersectionality and how it works.

Soapy
Dec 28 2012 23:45

I really have to disagree, I'm not misrepresenting the views of INCITE!, there is a lengthy piece in "The Revolution Will not Be Funded" criticizing VAWA. From what I understand the protesters in India are asking that the state further criminalize rape, just as it was done in the US creating the problems that INCITE points out.

Again it only seems to me that the protests in India are about wanting further criminalization of rape. If this is not the case then I would be happy to hear further info on it.

Fleur
Dec 29 2012 02:23

I'm afraid Soapy, you have me at a disadvantage as I have not read the Incite! piece you are referring to, but I am wondering what you think people in India should be protesting for? I don't think anyone has been protesting in favour of the criminalization of rape because in India it is already a crime, rather the enforcement of laws which are rarely enforced, protesting against the police who do not investigate or lay charges, against a society which does not treat rape and sexual violence as something particularly serious. And to a large extent, it is a situation in Western countries, which has been an angle which has been largely absent in the media, which has been hand-wringingly liberal, representing this as something awful which happens "over there."
I expect my views on prisons are much the same as most people on this site, but right now we don't live in a prison-free anarchist society and I really don't know what to do with a group of men who raped and beat a woman so badly that she ultimately died of her injuries, with brain damage and having had most of her intestines removed to try and save her life. If that's not reason enough to take to the streets in anger, I really have no idea what is.
Clearly there is an enormous problem with the way sexual violence is dealt with all over and the criminal justice system is not a system which is sympathetic to people who have been raped or abused. I'm not familiar with the US legal system, so I don't know exactly what you mean by further criminalization of rape, but if you were to toss a few choice words into google, I'm sure you will be able to find examples of cases closer to home than India where rape is not considered to be much of a crime at all. For example, this case in Ohio.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/sports/high-school-football-rape-case-unfolds-online-and-divides-steubenville-ohio.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

tastybrain
Dec 29 2012 03:10

The protests are clearly directed against rape culture and the impunity with which rapists carry out their actions. Yes, some protesters have argued for harsher laws, but I don't think that invalidates the protests any more than some Occupy protesters advocating for the repeal of Citizens United invalidates the Occupy movement.

Soapy
Dec 29 2012 03:24

Idk...I was just sayin'

Tom de Cleyre
Dec 29 2012 22:38

Soapy, here is a piece by Incite! in which they talk about answers to sexual violence, including the problems with an approach that centres around longer prison sentences for perpetrators and approaches of reconstructive justice in social groups which side with the perpetrator.

http://incite-national.org/index.php?s=91

As you can see their views are a bit more complex than what you lead us to think.

They actually also have this blog article on the anti-rape movements of Indian women (from 2010) here http://inciteblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/women-in-india-use-media-self-defense-direct-action-to-organize-against-gender-violence/

Soapy
Dec 29 2012 23:46

I never said INCITE! believed that the criminalization of rape was a bad thing. I said they pointed out problems with it. Please don't straw man me.

Tom de Cleyre
Dec 30 2012 02:01

Where did I say what? You misrepresented their views by saying "Groups such as INCITE: Women of Color Against Violence argue that the criminalization of rape and domestic abuse in the US in many ways has a negative impact because it is used by the US government to further criminalize the lives of people of color." which is a terribly awkward and broad statement.
I did not strawman you. I only refered to your argument as 'what you lead us to think'.

subprole
Dec 31 2012 14:08
no1
Jan 3 2013 16:08

Direct action by Indian women against a rapist MP in Assam:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20902258