(Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)
A 23-year-old victim of an extremely brutal gang-rape in Delhi, who died last weekend and was thus far known as "India's Daughter" among other pseudonyms, was identified for the first time by a British newspaper with the consent of her father, who wants the world to know her real name.
Jyoti Singh Pandey is her real name, the victim's father, identified as Badri Singh Pandey, told The Sunday People. "We want the world to know her real name. My daughter didn't do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself," he was quoted as saying on Saturday.
"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," said the father, who was interviewed by the newspaper in his ancestral village of Billia in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The victim, a physiotherapy student, succumbed to injuries from an assault that involved penetration of a blunt, rusted iron object on Dec. 29.
"At first I wanted to see the men responsible face to face but I don't want to anymore," Pandey said. "I just want to hear that the courts have punished them and they will be hanged."
As per Indian law, the identity of victims of sexual assault cannot be revealed.
At a pre-trial hearing at a District Court in Saket, Delhi, on Saturday, the judge issued a production warrant against the five accused for Monday. The accused have been charged with murder, gang-rape and abduction among other offenses.
A sixth suspect is expected to be tried as a juvenile. Police records say the underage suspect raped the woman twice after she was hit with iron rods and fell unconscious. He extracted her intestine with his bare hands.
According to Agence France Presse, a public prosecutor told the judge there was strong forensic evidence against the five. "We have filed all the evidence," Rajiv Mohan, additional public prosecutor, was quoted as saying. "The blood of the victim tallied with the stains found on the clothes of the accused."
The victim died of "septicemia (blood poisoning) from multi-organ failure due to multi-organ injury" after she was repeatedly raped and violated with an iron bar, Mohan added.
The assault took place on the night of Dec. 16, when the woman and his male friend boarded a private bus – being driven by joyriders – after watching a movie in South Delhi. The juvenile suspect invited them in, saying the bus was going where they wanted to go.
The six inside the bus began harassing the woman. When her friend intervened, they hit him on his head with an iron rod several times until he was unconscious. When the woman tried to rescue him, they hit her with the same rod. They took turns raping and assaulting her. According to reports, injuries indicated that a blunt object, possibly a rusted wheel jack, may have been used for penetration.
The accused then threw the two from the moving bus, and tried to run over the victim. Her friend, who had gained consciousness by then, dragged her to a corner to save her.
The incident has led to street protests in Delhi and other parts of the country in demand for stricter rape and sex crime laws and protection of women.
A total of 635 rapes were reported to the Delhi police between January and November 2012, according to the Press Trust of India. Of the 754 suspects arrested, just one has so far been convicted.