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Expat wanderer

Manohar Lal Sharma: “Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady”

If you are a follower of my blog, you know I am not a person of violent tendencies. This morning, however, I am so thankful to be half a world away from the scum lawyer who would make these statements about a woman so brutally raped by six men that she died of horrendous internal injuries.

I am fighting instincts which would wish him ill. When he accuses rape victims of being responsible for their attacks, it pushes me over the line.

A person should be free to take a bus without fear of assault. And I suspect that there are also male victims, too ashamed to come forward.

Manohar Lal Sharma
Manohar Lal Sharma, lawyer for one of the accused, speaks to journalists outside the Saket district court complex in New Delhi, India, on Jan. 10. Police badly beat the five suspects arrested in the brutal gang rape and killing of a young woman on a New Delhi bus, Sharma said Thursday, accusing authorities of tampering with evidence in the case that has transfixed India. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

As the trial of the men charged with the brutal gang rape and murder of a woman in New Delhi last month gets under way this week, a lawyer for some of the accused suggests the victim was partly to blame for the attack.

Lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma said his clients were innocent and implied that the 23-year-old student must have been in some way responsible for the horrific crime, Bloomberg reports.

“Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady,” Sharma said. “Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect.”

The lawyer’s controversial comments are sure to anger victim’s advocates, especially in light of somewhat similar sentiments proclaimed by Indian guru Asaram Bapu.

Last week Bapu said the victim should have “taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said I consider you as my brother and should have said to the other two ‘Brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother,'” according to the Hindustan Times.

It is worth noting, however, that a representative for Bapu later said the media distorted the guru’s remarks.

“[He] never made such statements. He just asked his women followers to avoid such situation anyhow,” the rep told Asian News International. “He was only suggesting that women should try their level-best to come out from such situation by using diplomatic ways.”

News outlet The Week compiled a list of several other statements that seem to place blame on the rape victim. The compilation includes a comment from Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana, who suggested the victim stayed out too late.

“Do we roam in streets at midnight as we got Independence at midnight?” Satyanarayana said. “She should have assessed the situation before getting into the bus.”

The attack, which occurred on the evening of Dec. 16, has shocked Indian residents and prompted violent protests in cities across the country, CNN notes.

Sharma, who stepped in to help defend the suspects when many other lawyers refused to represent them, also claimed his clients had been tortured by police while in jail, Time reports.

The main suspect in the trial, the bus driver, will plead not guilty according to Reuters, as will the driver and a third suspect he represents.

“We will plead not guilty. We want this to go to trial,” Sharma said. “We are only hearing what the police are saying. This is manipulated evidence. It’s all on the basis of hearsay and presumption.

January 13, 2013 Posted by | Civility, Community, Crime, Cultural, India, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Safety, Social Issues, Women's Issues | , , | 13 Comments

Six Arrested in Second Indian Gang Rape Case

This was on AOL News / Huffpost this morning. The author makes an interesting point, not only are societal mores at fault, blaming the victim and implying the rape was her fault, but also the problem is exacerbated by the growing imbalance between males and females in the population. Where are potential mates for the excess of men?

Indian police present six arrested men, accused of a gang rape in Punjab state.

India Gang Rape: Woman Assaulted By Bus Driver, Conducter
By ASHOK SHARMA 01/13/13 07:49 AM ET EST

NEW DELHI — Police said Sunday they have arrested six suspects in another gang rape of a bus passenger in India, four weeks after a brutal attack on a student on a moving bus in the capital outraged Indians and led to calls for tougher rape laws.

Police officer Raj Jeet Singh said a 29-year-old woman was the only passenger on a bus as she was traveling to her village in northern Punjab state on Friday night. The driver refused to stop at her village despite her repeated pleas and drove her to a desolate location, he said.

There, the driver and the conductor took her to a building where they were joined by five friends and took turns raping her throughout the night, Singh said.

The driver dropped the woman off at her village early Saturday, he said.

Singh said police arrested six suspects on Saturday and were searching for another.

Gurmej Singh, deputy superintendent of police, said all six admitted involvement in the rape. He said the victim was recovering at home.

Also on Saturday, police arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly raping and killing a 9-year-old girl two weeks ago in Ahmednagar district in western India, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Her decomposed body was found Friday.

Police officer Sunita Thakare said the suspect committed the crime seven months after his release from prison after serving nine years for raping and murdering a girl in 2003, PTI reported Sunday.

The deadly rape of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus in December led to the woman’s death and set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such tragedies. Protesters and politicians have called for tougher rape laws, police reforms and a transformation in the way the country treats women.

“It’s a very deep malaise. This aspect of gender justice hasn’t been dealt with in our nation-building task,” Seema Mustafa, a writer on social issues who heads the Center for Policy Analysis think tank, said Sunday.

“Police haven’t dealt with the issue severely in the past. The message that goes out is that the punishment doesn’t match the crime. Criminals think they can get away it,” she said.

In her first published comments, the mother of the deceased student in the New Delhi attack said Sunday that all six suspects in that case, including one believed to be a juvenile, deserve to die.

She was quoted by The Times of India newspaper as saying that her daughter, who died from massive internal injuries two weeks after the attack, told her that the youngest suspect had participated in the most brutal aspects of the rape.

Five men have been charged with the physiotherapy student’s rape and murder and face a possible death penalty if convicted. The sixth suspect, who says he is 17 years old, is likely to be tried in a juvenile court if medical tests confirm he is a minor. His maximum sentence would be three years in a reform facility.

“Now the only thing that will satisfy us is to see them punished. For what they did to her, they deserve to die,” the newspaper quoted the mother as saying.

Some activists have demanded a change in Indian laws so that juveniles committing heinous crimes can face the death penalty.

The names of the victim of the Dec. 16 attack and her family have not been released.

What is also troubling in these two cases is that the women were on public transportation, and the rapes were arranged and carried out by the bus drivers and bus personnel, people who should have been there to keep her safe. They treated the victims like pieces of meat; it seems excessively hostile and brutal – you have to wonder what is driving them.

You can read more on this in an article from The Guardian, from where I found the photo above of the perpetrators.

January 13, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Family Issues, Health Issues, India, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Social Issues, Women's Issues | , , | Leave a comment