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India Plans to Shame Rapists, Even as Its Cops Shame Rape Victims to Suicide

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India Plans to Shame Rapists, Even as Its Cops Shame Rape Victims to Suicide
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India Plans to Shame Rapists, Even as Its Cops Shame Rape Victims to Suicide

In light of last week's brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi that shocked the country, India's government promised Thursday to roll out a campaign that involves posting the photos, names, and addresses of rapists to publicly shame them. The announcement came on the same day a 17-year-old gang rape victim committed suicide because she apparently was pressured into marrying one of her attackers.

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"Minister of state for home affairs Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh said the campaign would begin first in New Delhi," reports the Times of India. That's the city where an unnamed student was gang raped and attacked on a bus by six men so violently December 16 that she remains in a Singapore hospital after undergoing three abdominal surgeries. And Thursday's official response isn't likely to quell the massive protests sweeping the country in response to that student's rape — the government's action (or lack thereof) following the rape were "hollow and smack of tokenism," as one protester told CNN.

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Even if the government shaming campaign does roll out, protests are likely to continue as news spreads of a young gang rape victim who allegedly killed herself after... she was shamed into wedlock with one of the attackers. Local police from the northwestern port city of Amritsar were the source of the pressure on the 17-year-old girl, reports the AFP, adding:

Before her death, there had been no arrests over her case although three people were detained on Thursday. Two of them were her alleged male attackers and the third was a suspected woman accomplice. The victim's sister told Indian television that the teenager had been urged to either accept a cash settlement or marry one of her attackers.

We're not sure if and how posting photos of rapists will solve a problem if there are still people out there who are pressuring rape victims to marry their victims. But Indian lawmakers seem to think so, or at least say they do. "We are very serious about dealing with the problem and taking all possible action as early as possible," said Singh. 

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