Delhi Gang Rape: Tharoor tweet demanding naming of victim evokes mixed response

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 01, 2013 15:30 hrs

There was a mixed response on Tuesday to Union Minister Shashi Tharoor's tweet that the name of the 23-year-old woman who was gang raped on December 16 in New Delhi be revealed.

The woman died in Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital on December 29 of multiple organ failure after battling for survival for 13 days.

Responding to Tharoor's tweet, former IPS officer, and now social and civil rights activist, Kiran Bedi welcomed the suggestion.

Bedi said: "What Tharoor has said, may be unique in India, but it is not new in the world. Many of the American laws, like the Megan Law, the Jessica Law and the Brady Law have been so named to perpetuate the memory and suffering of the victims, and also to remember the spirit behind the law. I would support Tharoor's suggestion, as it is a good idea.

Bedi further said: "As far as this case is concern, we have already calling her Nirbhaya. If her parents don't allow the name to be known, we can call it the Nirbhya Law. But if they do allow, I think the law should be named in her memory out of deep respect."

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari said: "I don't want to go in the debate what someone has said or has not said. The real tribute to our sister, who lost her life, would be to update our laws, to make them more stringent and to ensure our judicial processes deliver verdicts as speedily as possible."

BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said naming the victim would be a wrong step and would contravene court orders. He said that as a government minister, Tharoor should not be making such an irresponsible demand in his public or private capacity.

He said the BJP does not agree with Tharoor, and added that there were court orders in this regard.

Tharoor favoured making public the identity of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim, wondering what interest is served by keeping her name under wraps.

He said the revised anti-rape legislation should be named after the victim if her parents do not have any objection.

"Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name and honour her as a real person w/own identity?" he asked on Twitter.

"Unless her parents object, she should be honoured and the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name, not just a symbol," Tharoor, who is known for speaking his mind, added.

Under the law, the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed and printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom rape is committed is an offence under section 228-A of Indian Penal Code.

His comments come close on the heels of Delhi Police registering a case against an English daily for publishing material that could lead to the identification of the victim.

Tharoor's comments sparked instant reactions on Twitter with people supporting and questioning his suggestions.

" Why are you after creating honours, idols and temples again instead of making real changes to criminal justice system?" Chirdeep, one of the users, asked.

Anil Wanvari, however, wrote: "A good suggestion. This is exactly what I had recommended four days ago. Cheers!"

Ashoke Pandit said: "Shashi Tharoor as a minister shd stop tweeting.He always is a disaster and creates a problem for himself. Nw he wants d rape victms dtls out.'

Shakti Shetty: "A redundant controversy is about to hit Shashi Tharoor thanks to our media's penchant for drama." (ANI with inputs)

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