Women beat rape politician
Protesters furious at the impunity enjoyed by sex offenders in India were given a first indication that attitudes may be starting to change on Thursday when police in the north-eastern state of Assam arrested a prominent local politician who had been set upon by a group of women accusing him of rape.
According to a local police official quoted by AP news agency, the politician was captured by villagers early on Thursday after he allegedly entered a woman’s home and raped her.
Footage of Bikram Singh Brahma, a member of the ruling Congress party, being stripped of his shirt and beaten by the crowd was broadcast on Indian television on Thursday, even as a court in New Delhi charged five men with the abduction, rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in the Indian capital on December 16.
Last month’s horrific gang rape sparked a nationwide debate about the routine violence inflicted on women and triggered daily protests in cities across the country, putting pressure on the authorities to deal more seriously with sex crimes.
Once ignored by police and media alike, cases of rape have become front-page news, with politicians calling for tougher laws against sex offenders, including chemical castration. The government has announced a wide-scale reform of the criminal justice system and special fast-track courts to deal with crimes against women.