India Insight

Women still feel unsafe in India’s rape capital

Assurances from the police and a new anti-rape law have done little to make the streets of New Delhi safer for women, especially for those using public transport, interviews conducted by the Reuters India Insight team show.

The December incident, in which a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist died two weeks after she was gang-raped in a moving bus, raised questions over women’s safety in India and sparked debate over how men treat women all over the country.

A teenager has been sentenced to three years in juvenile detention and a court is expected to announce its verdict on the four adults accused of the crime on Tuesday. (Update: Four men convicted and sentenced to death)

The India Insight team travelled in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and Delhi Metro trains, and spoke to nearly 50 commuters. The Delhi gang rape is still on people’s minds, with many saying things haven’t changed nine months after the incident. Insecurity has also set in, forcing some to adapt to the new environment.

“In foreign countries, even if you wear shorts, nothing happens; we have to change because we can’t change the attitude … I wear sports shoes so that (if) something happens I could run. I never wear chappals (slippers) nowadays,” said Thoudam Regina, an analyst at the department of science and technology in the central government.

Timeline of events: The Delhi gang rape case

In December last year, a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist died two weeks after she was gang-raped and mutilated in a moving bus in Delhi, raising questions over women’s safety in the capital and sparking debates over their treatment in India.

Here is a timeline of key events in the case:

December 16:  A 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist is beaten, raped for almost an hour and thrown out of a moving bus in New Delhi by six people. Her male friend, a software engineer, is beaten with a metal rod.

December 17-22: The woman remains in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. Police arrest suspects. Hundreds of students and activists block roads in Delhi and march to the president’s palace, breaking through police barricades. Police use batons, tear gas and water cannon to turn back protestors, who demand the death penalty for the accused and safety assurances for women.

  •