Clamour for honouring victim, family ok with naming her

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 02, 2013 16:34 hrs

New Delhi: Three days after she was cremated quietly, the Delhi gang-rape victim's family Wednesday said they had no objection if her name was revealed and a revised anti-rape law named after her.

At Jantar Mantar, in the heart of the Indian capital, protestors continued clamouring for stringent punishment for rapists and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit marched to Rajghat at the head of "a peace rally" in memory of the brutally gang-raped and tortured woman who died Dec 29.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the pitch for honouring the victim, with its Delhi unit chief Vijender Gupta asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to posthumously award her the Ashoka Chakra, the country's highest civilian award for bravery.

Giving a new twist to the debate over legal ban on disclosing the identity of a gang-rape or rape victim, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor tweeted Tuesday that the Delhi woman should be named and honoured. A day later, the call found support from the victim's family and others.

"We have no objection to revealing her name," the 23-year-old victim's brother told IANS over telephone from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. The family has temporarily shifted to its village from Delhi in the wake of traumatic developments since her Dec 16 gang-rape.

"We also have no objection if the (revised anti-rape) law is named after her," he said.

"It will be an honour for my sister," the 20-year-old brother of the victim said, four days after the physiotherapy intern died in a Singapore hospital Dec 29.

The victim's father told a television channel that if the law was named after her, it will be good. "It will honour her courage."

Tharoor had suggested that the revised anti-rape law be named after her, and added that this should be done if her parents had no objection.

Tharoor's proposal sparked a vigorous debate. While social activist Kiran Bedi supported Tharoor, Congress leader Manish Tewari asked people to wait till the committees formed to look into the anti-rape laws gave their recommendations.

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati joined in. "If the family agrees (to name the law after the victim), it can be done. But any decision should not be taken by the central government unilaterally. It should call an all-party meeting and take views from all parties," she said.

Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said naming laws was not the main concern at the moment.

"The government will think on that, but the priority at this moment is to ensure such incident is not repeated," Tirath told news channel NDTV.

The victim's brother said they were conducting the last rites of the young woman who was cremated Dec 30 in Delhi, exactly two weeks after she was brutally raped and tortured.

He told IANS that his sister's ashes were immersed in the Ganga in Bihar's Buxar district around 11.30 p.m. Tuesday.

"Now the whole family is busy in my sister's last rituals in our village in Ballia," he said.

The trainee physiotherapist was raped in a moving bus. She was robbed, stripped, tortured and then thrown out on the roadside along with her friend on a cold Dec 16 night. She was taken to Singapore for treatment.

The on-going protests here have subsided a great deal, but a group, formed randomly at the Jantar Mantar, has started a mission to collect written messages from people protesting against the brutal gang-rape.

The messages will be sent to the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, formed by the government to look into amendments for enhanced punishment in sexual offences of extreme nature against women.

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