Published on 6 Jan 2013 Sections ,

India rape victim ‘should be named’, says father

The father of an Indian student, whose brutal rape and murder provoked a global outcry, wants her name made public so she can inspire victims of sexual assault.

People light candles to remember the rape victim (pic: Reuters)

The 23-year-old medical student died on December 28, two weeks after a gang rape on a moving bus in New Delhi that ignited protests across India and neighbouring countries.

Her death has prompted the Indian government to promise tougher punishments for offenders and better protection for women.

Now the victim’s father has announced he wants his daughter’s name to be made public, to support other victims of sexual violence.

“We want the world to know her real name,” he told the Sunday People newspaper, which published the woman’s name.

“My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself,” he added. “I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter.”

Indian law generally prohibits the identification of victims of sex crimes, but there have been growing calls in India to name the victim.

Read more: Police deny claim they delayed help to Indian rape victim

‘Devastating’ social stigma

The law is intended to protect victims’ privacy and keep them from the media glare in a country where the social stigma associated with rape can be devastating.

Five men have been charged with gang rape and murder and will appear in a New Delhi court on Monday to hear the charges.

Speaking at a pre-trial hearing on Saturday, Rajiv Mohan, a prosecutor in the case, said the prosecution had matched DNA from her blood to blood found on the accused’s clothes, and on hers, which one of the men had allegedly tried to burn to destroy evidence.

“The blood stain appearing on the burnt cloth has been tallied with the blood sample of the victim,” he told reporters.

Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital gave the cause of death as “septicaemia from multi-organ failure due to multiple organ injuries”.

‘Delay in getting help’

On Friday, the friend of the rape victim, who was also beaten in the attack, broke his silence on Zee News television and said that both passers-by and police delayed helping the pair when they were left lying on the road – a claim denied by the Delhi police.

After the interview was aired, New Delhi police said they would sue Zee News under an Indian criminal code that centers on revealing the identities of crime victims.

The attack has spurred national outrage and calls for reform in India, where rights groups say victims are subjected to “virginity tests” and other degrading treatment when they report rapes to the police.