Winnipeg’s Hindu community has moment of silence for Indian gang-rape victim
Published Sunday, December 30, 2012 5:18PM CST
Last Updated Sunday, December 30, 2012 6:21PM CST
Murder charges have now been laid against six men believed to be behind the vicious beating and gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in India.
The young woman died in a Singapore hospital on Friday, while protests raged in India, calling for better protection for the country’s women.
Winnipeg’s Hindu community gathered Sunday to pray for the victim and her family.
“The entire community – anyone I have spoken to – is completely shocked,” said Narinder Mathur of the Hindu Society of Manitoba. “They just cannot believe that.”
The woman was traveling with her boyfriend on a bus in New Delhi when they were attacked by a group of men. The pair were savagely beaten with metal rods, and the woman was repeatedly sexually assaulted.
The crime has hit Winnipeg’s Hindu community hard. They gathered for a moment of silence at a Hindu temple on St. Anne’s Road.
“There’s so much regret in your heart,” said Mona Goomansingh of the Hindu Society of Manitoba. “We should be living in a more progressive society, and this is a very regressive act.”
Massive protests broke out across India after the incident, a country where sexual violence against women is rampant and often goes unreported. Protestors are calling for change, demanding stricter laws to protect women.
India’s government said it is working to make those changes. Police have now charged six suspects with murder in connection with the incident.
India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, told New Delhi residents, “You have my assurance that our government is committed to bringing the guilty to justice as soon as possible.”
But New Delhi social worker Murphy John said societal changes also need to take place.
“This incident should open our eyes to the fact that we need to raise our children right. We need to raise the people right,” said John. “It’s at the end – the mentality.”
That message was echoed by Winnipeg’s Hindu community Sunday.
“I think we as human beings must not be complacent anymore,” said Goomansigh. “There’s no room for complacency.”
Members of 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, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. (AP / Ajit Solanki)
A protester is removed by Indian policemen while protesting against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012. (AP / Saurabh Das)
An Indian participates in a candle-lit vigil to mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. (AP / Dar Yasin)
Activists of the All India Democratic Women’s Association and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and other people shout slogans as they take part in a protest march from the Presidential Palace to India Gate in New Delhi, India on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (AP Photo)
Protesters run from tear gas fired by Indian police as they are driven back from North Block near the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (AP / Kevin Frayer)