Emotional Indian community in Melbourne pays tribute to gang rape victim

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 05:20 hrs

Emotional members of the Indian community in Melbourne paid tribute to the young woman who died of injuries after she was brutally assaulted and raped in New Delhi on 16th December.

Around 40 people gathered on the steps of the Indian consulate on St Kilda Road to light candles and pray for the 23-year-old, whose death on Saturday morning has sparked protests in India.

There were calls for death penalty, an end of misogynistic attitudes and changes to India's sexual assault laws, the Age reports.

According to the report, Navjeet Jhaji, a 25-year-old lawyer said that the government should not arrest the offenders or the accused and should shoot them on the spot.

She said that Indian women should be able to leave their homes without fearing for their life.

Trams rattled along St Kilda Road as people expressed their anguish about what had happened.

Ravi Bhatia, the former chief executive and founder of Primus in Australia, said sexual violence was an 'all too common occurrence in India', the report said.

He told the crowd that thousands of women in India are sexually harassed, beaten and brutalized, raped and murdered, denied justice and basic human rights.

Men and women carried home-made signs reading 'Pray for the victim' and 'We want fast track justice on rape case'.

The small crowd bowed their heads for one minute's silence, before continuing speeches in English and Hindi, the report added.

Professor Raman Singh from the faculty of engineering at Monash University said there was still a great deal of stigma around sexual assault.

According to the report, Manoj Kumar organised the event on Facebook after hearing the news that the physiotherapy student had died.

He said the death of the 23-year-old had touched so many people because it could be their mother, sister or relative.

But he said he was upset by the Indian government's response to the violent incident, the report added. (ANI)

More from Sify: