Tuesday, April 23, 2013

4-Year-Old Indian Girl Raped, Left With Severe Brain Injuries In Critical Condition

Posted:   |  Updated: 04/23/2013 2:18 pm EDT

4 Year Old Rape Victim

A 4-year-old Indian rape victim was left with severe brain injuries after allegedly being suffocated. Here, Indian schoolgirls hold a placard and participate in a silent rally against the rape of a 5-year-old girl in New Delhi, in Hyderabad, India, Tuesday, April 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

A 4-year-old Indian girl who was raped last week is currently in critical condition, having sustained severe brain injuries after allegedly being suffocated.
The unnamed child was reportedly raped in her village in Madhya Pradesh on April 17, according to Press Trust of India.
The girl's family found the child, who went missing on Wednesday, the next morning lying unconscious and profusely bleeding near a crematorium in her village, according to The Times of India. She had lacerations, tears and bruises on her body, and had allegedly been suffocated, which caused serious brain injuries.
Firoz Khan, a 35-year-old welder, is accused of raping the 4-year-old. His alleged accomplice is accused of using chocolate to lure the girl from her home, NDTV reports.
“The condition of the 4-year-old child, who was found unconscious in a field in Ghansur town of MP, is still critical. She is totally unconscious from the time she was brought to Nagpur," a doctor told The Hindu. "We have done all the examinations including MRI brain and EEG which indicates gross damage to her brain. Her brain’s functioning has reduced to an abnormal level. This is hypoxic brain damage which means inability of brain to work due lack of oxygen supply."
“She has been put on a life support system and is being treated by a team of senior doctors. Nothing else can be said about her situation now" he added.
Police are still searching for Khan, who may have left the country, according to NDTV. The other suspect has been arrested.
News of this horrific incident comes in the midst of fury over the rape and torture of a 5-year-old girl in the Indian capital . The girl was found Wednesday in a New Delhi apartment building and doctors discovered a candle and a bottle of hair oil inside her little body.
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in the wake of the crime, alleging that police did not respond to the tragedy.
"The police must be held accountable for their shocking levels of apathy. They urgently need to review police processes to ensure that all cases of rape and sexual violence – not just those highlighted by the media – are fully and promptly investigated," G. Ananthapadmanabhan, who heads the India chapter of the human rights group Amnesty International, said, according to the Associated Press. "Those who fail to do their job must be held accountable."
Two suspects -- aged 19 and 24 -- have been arrested in connection with the rape, according to the report.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Delhi rape case: Demand for death penalty for rapist's increases, Delhi Police take some protesters into custody

New Delhi:  April 21 (ANI): Even as the public clamours for giving the death penalty to rapists, police in Delhi took several protesters into preventive custody on Sunday.
A demonstrator fell unconscious while protesting the brutal rape of the five-year old girl in New Delhi, and demanding more safety for women.
An irate protester, Shikha Rai, said the police and the government should take adequate security measures for the safety of women in the country.
She added: "Our demand is to make safe a safe place for women. We elect government for the security and safety of the people and if they or if Delhi police are unable to provide that security that I think, we will have to come out and take care of ourselves."
Meanwhile, reports of protests against the rape of a five-year-old are coming in from other parts of the country.
Protesters took to the streets raising slogans, demanding a harsh punishment for the man suspected of raping the five-year-old girl who is battling for her life at a hospital in New Delhi.
To express solidarity with the five-year-old girl, protesters shouted slogans against Delhi Police and the Union government demanding the resignation of Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
An agitated protester, Neelam said, "We are demonstrating against the brutal incident done by an animal like human being with the small girl. We demand resignation of Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, as during his tenure, another horrifying incident happened after the December 16 incident. Attitude of police has not changed. They still do not lodge FIR and the family of victims is asked to compromise and shut their mouth. We want to ask them as to what is their role? What is their duty? Is it to make the victim keep quite or to help them?"
Lashing out at United Progressive Alliance (UPA), a protester Sharda, urged the government to hang the accused.
"The biggest problem is that the culprits are not being punished due to which they are fearlessly raping women. I just want to say that in such cases, the culprits should be hanged to death or else women will have to find ways to protect themselves," said Sharda
A woman also fainted while raising her voice against the safety for women during the protest. She was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment.
The victim, whose parents work as labourers and live in the eastern neighbourhood of Delhi, went missing on April 15.
Police found her with bruise marks on her body in the suspect's house in a semi-conscious condition on Thursday after her parents had registered a complaint.
Delhi police had arrested the 25-year-old man for the rape of the child from arrested from Muzaffarpur town in India's eastern state of Bihar. The man was taken into transit custody to be brought to New Delhi.
The rape, which left the young girl in a critical condition, revived memories of the brutal gang rape by five adult men and a teenaged boy of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus on December 16 in New Delhi. That woman died of her injuries.
Earlier Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement that he was deeply disturbed by the latest incident. In December his administration had faced criticism for failing to respond to public anger over the horrific attack on the physiotherapy student.
Singh's government passed tougher laws to fight gender crimes in March, putting in place new provisions and tougher punishments, which include criminalising voyeurism and stalking and making acid attacks and human trafficking specific offences.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Women hit back at India's rape culture

  • The Observer

  • A self-defence group in Lucknow have a simple message to the men who make their lives a misery – stop it, or else

  • Young women from the Red Brigade
Young women from the Red Brigade walk through the Midiyav slum in the city of Lucknow. Their leader, Usha Vishwakarma, 25, is in white. Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain for the Observer
The male tormentor of the young women of the Madiyav slum did not spot the danger until it was too late. One moment he was taunting them with sexual suggestions and provocations; the next they had hold of his arms and legs and had hoisted him into the air.
Then the beating began. Some of the young women lightly used their fists, others took off their shoes and hit him with those. When it was over, they let him limp away to nurse his wounds, certain that he had learned an important lesson: don't push your luck with the Red Brigade.
Named for their bright red outfits, the Red Brigade was formed in November 2011 as a self-defence group for young women suffering sexual abuse in the northern Indian city of Lucknow, 300 miles south-east of Delhi. Galvanised by the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi last December and the nationwide protests that followed against a rising tide of rapes, they are now gaining in confidence.
From a core membership of 15, ranging in age from 11 to 25, they now have more than 100 members, intelligent and sassy and with a simple message for the men who have made their lives a misery: they will no longer tolerate being groped, gawped at and worse. Their activities are a lesson in empowerment.
Men who fall foul of the Red Brigade can first expect a visit and a warning. Sometimes the Red Brigade will ask the police to get involved, but if all else fails they take matters into their own hands. Their leader, 25-year-old teacher Usha Vishwakarma, has her own experience of the daily danger faced by many young women in the country. She was just 18 when a fellow teacher tried to rape her. "He grabbed me and put his hands round me and tried to open my belt and trousers," says Usha, sitting in the bare-brick front room of her small house. "But I was saved by my jeans because they were too tight for him to open, and that gave me a chance to fight, so I kicked him in the sensitive place and pushed him down and ran out of the door."
No one at the school took her accusations seriously, telling her to forget it and stop causing trouble. The experience left her traumatised and for two years she did nothing. But little by little her confidence came back. In 2009 she set up her own small school for local girls in an outbuilding next to her family home. Yet all around her, she says, she saw more and more young women suffering the same abuse she had faced. And it was threatening to wreck the chances of her young female students.
"Parents were telling girls to stay in their homes so there would be no incidents. They said, 'if you go to school, boys will be troubling you, so stay home and there will be no sexual violence'," says Vishwakarma. "But we said no, and we decided to form a group to fight for ourselves. We decided we would not just complain; we would take a lead and fight for ourselves." They bought red kameez (shirts) and black salwar (trousers) and began to plan the fightback. "We chose red because it means danger and black for protest," says Vishwakarma.
There is much to fight back against. "It is in the minds of men that girls are objects and it has been like that always," says Vishwakarma. "Religion shows women as very powerless and that whoever is strong can do anything."
Other members of the group drift in and join her, sitting on the bed along one wall of the front room. At the other end of the room is a table laden with the placards they carry with them when they go out to protest on the 29th day of every month. The demonstrations mark the date of the Delhi bus rape and murder on 29 December. Their slogans read: "Stop rape now" and "We want safety".
"In the electronic era there are pictures everywhere of women and girls being treated like objects. It is now very simple to see pornography and it is feeding the hunger for sex. The men think that if you are looking sexy, then you want sex," says Vishwakarma.
They have started martial arts training so that the men do not have a physical advantage over them. Pooja, Vishwakarma's 18-year-old sister, laughs as she recalls the reaction of the boy they grabbed in the street when his taunts became too much. "We all stopped and turned round and we surrounded him and grabbed his arms and legs and he thought it was a joke, but we were not kidding and four of us lifted him in the air and the others started to hit him with their shoes and fists," she says.
The rough justice the Red Brigade metes out might seem extreme to western sensibilities, but many Indian women are making it clear that they are no longer prepared to put up with endemic abuse. That much is clear from the crime figures: reports of molestation in Delhi are up 590% year on year and rape reports by 147%. The rape cases have hit tourist numbers, which were down 25% in the first three months of the year – 35% fewer women are travelling to India.
The Red Brigade say sexual abuse is a part of daily life for young women like them. They all have stories of abuse, attempted rapes and daily harassment. "This is what happens in India," says 16-year-old Laxmi, one of Vishwakarma's lieutenants. "These things happen all the time. All of us know this, so don't let anyone say otherwise. This is why we have formed the Red Brigade."
Seventeen-year-old Preeti Verma nods in agreement. Her family are too poor to have a toilet in the house, so she has to go out into the fields, she says. Every time she went out, the man in the neighbouring house threw stones at her to try to scare her into jumping up. "He wanted to see my body," she says. "I told him: 'What are you doing? You are shameless, don't you have a mother and sister in your house?' But he replied that his mother is for his father, his sister is for her husband and that I was for him." She told Vishwakarma, and the man received a visit from the Red Brigade and another from the police. She has had no trouble from him since.
"We've caught a lot of men recently," says 17-year-old Sufia Hashmi. "I joined up because men always used to pass comments on me and touch my body, but now we beat them the men cannot do anything and they run away. You feel powerful and you feel good."
The next day, they gather on the roof of a gym across the city to run through their moves, a mixture of kicks, punches and throws. An instructor shows Pooja how to use a wooden stick to keep a boy at bay. She holds it against his assistant's throat and the boy looks terrified. The others gasp and giggle.
Yet it is not just the young men of the neighbourhood that the Red Brigade must overcome. Many of the members are very young and, although some of their parents are supportive, others are convinced they are wasting their lives. "The attitude of my parents is very demoralising," says 16-year-old Simpi Diwari, a tiny young woman who a few moments ago was kicking away the legs of one of her colleagues. "I want to be like Usha, fighting against the cruel things, I want to be a teacher and a motivator too, but I am fighting with my parents just to be allowed out of the house."
On the way back to the slum, the rickshaws pass a public park and for a moment these tough young women show themselves for what they really are – children forced to grow up fast. They beg and plead to stop. "Please, please," they say, their eyes gleaming in excitement. Shrieking gleefully, they race off towards the swings, slides and roundabouts. Later they stroll back through the market, eating ice-creams, heading for their homes. The sun is low in the sky, the shadows long. The men watch sullenly as they pass, like wolves who have just discovered the sheep are armed. No one risks a word.