NEW DELHI, INDIA (DECEMBER 18, 2012) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (ANI) - Bollywood actors voiced their anger and concern over safety of girls and women in India's national capital after a 23-year-old girl is raped in a private bus a day ago.
They shared their views with the media persons in New Delhi on Monday (December 18).
The rape of a 23-year old girl in a city bus has sparked outrage and shock from women activists, politicians and students.
The medical student was gang-raped in New Delhi, often referred to as the 'rape capital', on Sunday night (December 16) and was later thrown out of the moving vehicle in a semi-naked condition.
The girl's friend tried to prevent the men from molesting her, but the men thrashed him and raped the girl.
The victim, who is currently on ventilator support, has severe genital, abdominal and head injuries and is battling for her life in a city hospital.
The police have arrested the bus driver and three other accused in connection with the gang rape while the other suspects have been identified from CCTV footage.
The gruesome nature of the incident has shocked the conscious of a nation where one women is raped every 20 minutes, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, which reported 24,206 rapes in 2011 - an almost 10 percent rise over the previous year.
Students from various colleges in Delhi took to the streets, raising anti-government slogans and demanding strong deterrents to prevent recurrence of such cases.
"I don't know how people can do these kinds of things, it's disgusting. If a person is travelling in a normal bus then what can the police do in that, there is not going to be one policeman in every bus. As citizens, it is our duty not to do any this kind of stuff. And I am sure these people don't have a criminal background, they are just people who have gone out, seen a couple having fun and taken it to a different level all together, must be drunk or whatever. It's very sad that people can go to this extent," saidSalman Khan.
Earlier in the day, federal lawmakers created a pandemonium in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) over the matter.
Delhi's rape figures are highest among the Indian cities of comparable size.
"I would like to definitely say one thing that justice in this country takes too long. So we have to reassess our justice laws, on how things should follow. Justice has to happen faster. The previous cases of rapes are pending; some have also been shut, in some the accused are not found. I read in the newspaper today that cases are going on since 2004, that they have not found the accused of those cases. We don't know when the justice is going to happen in the incident that happened yesterday. So, our government needs to reassess our justice laws to encourage the proceedings to happen faster. By saying a woman should not go out at night, is not the solution to this problem," said Kareena Kapoor Khan.
Women in northern India face a multitude of threats, from illegal abortions of female foetuses due to a preference for sons, to the murders of brides by in-laws for want of more dowry, child marriage and human trafficking.
Commenting on the gory incident, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Delhi Police, Dharmendra Kumar, said they have arrested four of the accused and search is on for the other two and they will be tried in a fast track court.
He stated this while interacting with mediapersons outside the Parliament House.
"I have given my statement in the parliament. We have already arrested four accused in this incident and teams have been rushed behind two other who are absconding. We will soon arrest the other two as well. This case has been worked out in a very short period and we will go ahead with the trial in a fast track court. So, we are hopeful that conviction to the accused will be meted out soon in the fast track court," said Dharmendra Kumar, Special Commissioner (Law & Order) of Delhi Police.
Gender abuses are more common across India's conservative northern belt - which includes Haryana,Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar - largely due a deep-rooted mindset that women are inferior and must be restricted to the role of homemakers.
Powerful community groups of elderly men, known as 'Khap Panchayat', which unofficially govern innorth India's Haryana state, have responded to the recent rapes by demanding that the age of marriage be lowered to 16 years from 18, saying it would stop boys and girls 'straying' and prevent rapes.