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Wed Aug 20 12:43:27 SAST 2014

Rape victim's dad: Name my daughter

Reuters | 07 January, 2013 00:14
Students hold candles as they pray during a candlelight vigil for a gang rape victim who was assaulted in New Delhi, in Ahmedabad.
Image by: AMIT DAVE / REUTERS

The father of the Indian student whose brutal rape and murder provoked a global outcry says he wants her name made public so that she can be an inspiration to victims of sexual assault.

His call was quickly taken up by users of social media and might pressure the authorities to allow her identity to be revealed.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student died on December 28 in a Singapore hospital, two weeks after being gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi. The rape ignited protests across India and worldwide, and Indian government promises of tougher punishments.

"We want the world to know her real name," the woman's father told Britain's Sunday People newspaper.

"My daughter did not do anything wrong; she died protecting herself," he said. "I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived such attacks."

The father's appeal sparked widespread interest on social networking sites. Her name was the top-trending topic among Indian Twitter users, with many, including journalists and Bollywood actors, praising his decision to reveal her name.

But Indian media did not identify her and referred to her as "Amanat", an Urdu word meaning "treasure".

The Delhi police refused to comment when asked if they would take action against social networks or publications carrying the student's name.

Indian law prohibits the identification of victims of sex crimes to protect their privacy in a country in which the social stigma associated with rape can be devastating.

Indian media, wary of prosecution, will probably choose not to name her whereas foreign publications will.

Five men have been charged with gang rape and murder and will appear in a New Delhi court today.

Rajiv Mohan, a prosecutor in the case, said the prosecution had matched DNA from her blood to blood found on the clothes of the accused.

He said Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital gave the cause of death as "septicaemia from multi-organ failure due to multiple organ injuries".

Mohan said the police and prosecution would not reveal her identity.

Delhi police have started litigation against TV network Zee News for airing an interview with a friend of the victim who was with her during the attack and has accused the police of responding slowly and failing to cover the victim and himself after they were thrown from the bus naked and bleeding.

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Wed Aug 20 12:43:27 SAST 2014 ::