‘‘We want this case to be dealt with within 30 days and not the go the usual way when justice is denied to rape victims because of inordinate delays and the rapists go scot-free,’’ Farooqui said.
Analysts say crimes against women are on the rise as more young women leave their homes to join the work force in India’s booming economy, even as deep-rooted social attitudes that women are inferior remain unchanged. Many families look down on women, viewing the girl child as a burden that forces them to pay a huge dowry to marry her off.
Kumari says a change can come about only when women are seen as equal to men.
Rapes in India remain drastically underreported. In many cases, families do not report rapes due to the stigma that follows the victim and her family. In other instances, families may decide not to report a rape out of frustration with the long delays in court and harassment at the hands of the police. Police, themselves are reluctant to register cases of rape and domestic violence in order to keep down crime figures or to elicit a bribe from the victim.
In a sign of the protesters’ fury, Khushi Pattanaik, a student, said death was too easy a punishment for the rapists, they should instead be castrated and forced to suffer as their victim did.
‘‘It should be made public so that you see it, you feel it and you also live with it . the kind of shame and guilt,’’ she said.