East Lancashire community leaders welcome debate over women's rights in India (From Chorley Citizen)
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East Lancashire community leaders welcome debate over women's rights in India
5:00pm Saturday 5th January 2013 in East Lancashire
COMMUNITY leaders and residents in East Lancashire have welcomed the debate about women’s rights in India.
The comments follow the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist by six men in New Delhi. She died of her injuries last week.
Thousands have taken to the streets in India in daily protests calling for policians and police to give better protection of women to prevent them becoming victims of sex and violent crimes and speed up the justice system.
Blackburn MP and ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw, who is currently on holiday in India, said: “The nationwide outburst of intense anger about the gang rape of this Delhi woman has been extraordinary.
“The case has touched a very raw nerve about the treatment of women using public places, about the very variable efficiency of the police service, and the convoluted criminal justice system.
“In many ways the outcry here reminds me of very similar concerns 15 to 20 years ago about the way the UK police failed to deal properly with rape victims.
“This case has also highlighted many other wider concerns in India about the way in which women are treated in some circumstances - and about the importance of protest.”
Sundeep Singh, 29, a Blackburn-based postgraduate student who moved here from India a year ago, echoed Mr Straw’s comments.
Mr Singh said: “There are not enough police around and many of those on patrol can be bribed.
“People know that if they want to commit a crime, they can often get away with it and so it has become endemic.”
Anjum Anwar, chair of East Lancashire’s Women’s Voice, said there was a worrying lack of care for women’s rights and safety.
She said: “Many similar cases are left gathering dust in the courts while violent crimes against women continue unchecked.
“We need to address these problems politically, religiously and socially if they are going to be stopped.”
Ashok Chudasama, a retired local government officer of Indian heritage from Blackburn, said: “The latest case of the 23-year-old is just the tip of the iceberg.
“The attitude of the police is one sided and biased and needs a complete overhaul in terms of the safety and security of individuals, particularly women in India as the police are grossly corrupt.
“I blame the government as well by showing the blind eye and sweeping these ongoing social issues under the carpet.”