Indians in Australia pay tribute to Delhi gang-rape victim
Melbourne: The Indian Diaspora in Australia on Sunday paid an emotional tribute to the 23-year-old Delhi gang-rape victim, who died after battling for life for nearly a fortnight, and demanded stern action against the culprits.
A large group of Indian men and women gathered in front of the Indian Consulate here and lit candles to express their outrage over the incident.
Expressing her anger and grief over the loss of the young girl's life, lawyer Navjeet Jhaji said the Indian government should take stern actions against the culprits. "There should be freedom for the women to just move out freely on the streets."
Ravi Bhatia, a community leader, said sexual violence was an all too common occurrence in India. "Tens of thousands of women in India are sexually harassed, beaten and brutalised, raped and murdered, denied justice and basic human rights."
The memorial service for the girl, who was brutally gang-raped and assaulted by six men in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, was organised by a social website group called Indian Solidarity Group.
The organiser of the social network page, Manoj Kumar, said the death of the 23-year-old girl, whose body was cremated in Delhi this morning, had touched so many people because it could have happened with anybody -- their mother, sister or relative.
He said he was upset by the Indian government's response to the violent incident.
Anjali Tikoo, an active member of an Indian association against domestic violence, said, "The death of the young girl should not go waste. There is a message and we must tell our daughters to fight like this braveheart against any assault or any oppression against women."
The community members also observed a two-minute silence to pay their respect to the departed soul.
A memorial service was also being held in Sydney.