EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

January 6, 2013

Gang-rape victim's friend recounts attack

(Continued)

He said his friend was determined to see that the attackers were punished. “She gave all details of the crime to the magistrate — things we can’t even talk about,” he said. “She told me that the culprits should be burnt alive.”

He added, “People should move ahead in the struggle to prevent a similar crime happening again as a tribute to her.”

Most people in India are reluctant to get involved in police business because once they become witnesses, they can be dragged into legal cases that can go on for years. Also, Indian police are often seen less as protectors and more as harassers.

On Friday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde called for changes in the law and the way police investigate cases so justice can be swiftly delivered. Many rape cases are bogged down in India’s overburdened and sluggish court system for years.

In the wake of the rape, several petitioners appealed to the Supreme Court to take an active role in the issue of women’s safety.

On Friday, the court dismissed a petition asking it to suspend Indian lawmakers accused of crimes against women, saying it doesn’t have jurisdiction, according to the Press Trust of India. The Association for Democratic Reforms, an organization that tracks officials’ criminal records, said six state lawmakers are facing rape prosecutions and two national parliamentarians are facing charges of crimes against women that fall short of rape.

However, the court did agree to look into the widespread creation of more fast-track courts for accused rapists across the country.

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