— In India, the government has ordered a special investigation into the gang-rape of a young woman in the Indian capital. Amid continuing outrage in India, the government says it will also review women’s safety.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Wednesday that a three-member commission of inquiry will identify possible lapses by police in connection with the the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in New Delhi last week.
Its report will be submitted in three months.
He says another panel will suggest measures to improve the safety and security of women in the Indian capital and recommend changes in laws to make punishment for such “horrific crimes stiffer.”
Minister Chidambaram says the government wants to find a lasting solution to the problem of rape that plagues all towns and cities in India. He said it is a matter of shame that such incidents are happening in the Indian capital.
“Whatever we do now is only intended to demonstrate government’s serious intent in the matter that we will apprehend and punish the perpetrators, we will try and find out what went wrong, what were the lapses, was there negligence and amend the laws," he said. "So there are three parts to what we are doing. At the same time, we are open to suggestions of what more needs to be done, especially suggestions from women who feel insecure.”
The government’s announcement came as police reported another gang-rape on Wednesday in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, where 10 men have been arrested for allegedly assaulting a 20-year-old woman.
An Indian protester shouts slogans as he is stopped by police during a protest against a recent gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi, India, December 27, 2012.
Indians protesting the recent gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi, display a poster calling for death penalty for offenders at a rally in Kolkata, December 27, 2012.
Police stand near barricades as they prepare to stop protesters on their way to India Gate while demonstrating against the gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi, India, December 27, 2012.
People participate in a candle light vigil for the recovery of the young victim of the recent brutal gang-rape in a bus in New Delhi, India, December 26, 2012.
A woman is removed by Indian police while protesting against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus in New Delhi, India, December 25, 2012.
Police and relatives carry the body of Subhash Tomar, a police man, during his funeral in New Delhi, December 25, 2012. Tomar died after he was injured during a protest over a gang rape in New Delhi.
Members of the All India Democratic Students Organization (DSO) hold placards and shout slogans condemning the brutal gang rape of a woman on a moving bus in New Delhi during a protest in Ahmadabad, India, December 24, 2012.
Indian police use water cannons to push back protesters during a demonstration near the India Gate against the gang rape and brutal beating of a 23-year-old student on a bus last week, in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2012.
An Indian man overwhelmed by tear gas lies on the ground during a protest in New Delhi, India, December 23, 2012.
A demonstrator holds a placard in front of India Gate as she takes part in a protest rally organized by various women's organisations in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2012.
People participate in a candlelight vigil for the fast recovery of a young woman as she fights for her life at a hospital after being brutally raped and tortured, in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2012.
But it is the incident in New Delhi that sparked massive street protests and put immense pressure on the government to do more to prevent violent crimes targeting women.
The protests have eased and the government has reopened several metro stations and roads in New Delhi that had been shut to prevent the demonstrations. They were the biggest spontaneous protests witnessed in the Indian capital in recent times.
But the issue of violence against women continues to dominate television debates and living room conversations. In New Delhi, police say the number of rapes has increased by 17 percent this year.
Doctors said Wednesday the condition of the gang-rape victim in New Delhi has deteriorated. She is on life support as she battles for survival after being raped by a group of men and beaten with rods for almost an hour. A policeman, who was injured during the protests, died on Tuesday.