India Continues to Demand Capital Punishment for Rapists: Photos

People across India continue to demand capital punishment for rapists and more security for women. On Sunday, hundreds of protestors came out and mourned the death of 23-year-old woman who was brutally gang raped on 16th December in Delhi.

The victim, who has become the face of widespread protests that demanded stricter laws to tackle rape cases and more security for women, succumbed to her grave injuries on 29 Dec, 2012 in Singapore, where she was sent, due to the nature of her injuries.

This photo sequence by photojournalist Showkat Shafi shows the story visually.

There have been numerous protests in Delhi and other states of the country ever since the news of her rape by six men on a moving bus and the brutal assault came to light. Carrying placards and shouted slogans, people from different sections of society came together on the streets and in the news, demanding capital punishment and stringent action against the accused. The police have already imposed a security lockdown in the Capital, where the areas around India Gate have been cordoned off, to prevent the public from gathering there.


The 23 year old gang rape victim in Delhi finally succumbed to her injuries after battling horrific injuries for 13 days. The woman died at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital on Saturday early morning (4.45am local time) after multiple organ failure. The Government of India initially thought the incident would blow over, as there is so much violence towards women in the country, that this may not have seemed important.

Here is a timeline of this incident.

December 16, 2012

This 23-year-old woman, a student of Physiotherapy was gangraped and and assaulted by six men in a private bus after they had boarded the bus in the night. It was learned that she was tortured, along with her male friend, and after 30 minutes of assault was thrown out of the bus, after being stripped of her clothes. She was very seriously injured. The woman was taken to Safdarjung Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in New Delhi, India.

December 17

Four of the accused were identified by the police. The victim’s horrifying injuries were revealed. It was revealed that a rod that was inserted in her by the accused had also resulted in them taking out more than half of her intestines. This was an horrific act, and the protests grew larger and louder, yet the government appeared to take no action and thought it would blow over. Security forces were increasingly needed to control the crowds. Some MPs were pressuring the government to take action and take notice of the crimes against women.

December 18

In the Parliamentary session, MPs demanded the death sentence for the accused in this rape case. People come out on the streets protesting against the gang rape. News of the protests spread through the use of social media. The government still did not appear to take the incident or the rage seriously. Protests took place at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the area around where the girl was thrown out of the bus. The driver of the bus Ram Singh, along with another three men was arrested by the police. Two accused were absconding.

December 19

Doctors at the Safdurjung Hospital informed us that the girl is communicating through writing but she is still critical. The permit of the bus in which the rape took place was cancelled. Protests continue in Delhi and around the country.

December 20

Students from various universities of Delhi gather outside the Chief Minister’s residence to show their anger against the inefficiency of the Government to make the city safe for women. The woman’s male friend and eye witness also gave his statement.

December 21

The eye witness recognizes one of the accused during a test identification parade. One more accused was apprehended from the state of Bihar in India.

December 22

People across the country are outraged and protests take place in various states in the country. Thousands gather at India Gate as a mark of protest. The victim gives her statement to the sub divisional magistrate.

December 23

Thousands gather at India Gate and protests turn violent as they try to reach Rashtrapati Bhawan. They face water canons and tear gas shells. More than 100 rounds of tear gas shells were fired at the protestors as they clashed with the police. The victim remains critical.

December 24

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh makes a statement and appeals for calm amongst the people.

December 25

Condition of the victim improves and doctors say that she is responding to medicines. Her statement is recorded again because of the complaints that the police tries to influence the statement of the victim.

December 26

The victim is flown to Singapore after she suffers a cardiac arrest

December 27

Heavy security in Delhi and police and para military forces deployed everywhere to ensure no more violent demonstration takes place

December 28

Sonia Gandhi of Indian National Congress demands justice in the case. Doctors at Mount Elizabeth inform the world that the victim’s condition has worsened.

December 29, 2012

After battling with her injuries for more than 12 days, the victim succumbs to them in Singapore. He body will be flown back to India tonight and the cremation will take place tomorrow. Protestors have gathered at Jantar Mantar, a place allotted for protests.

December 30: Protest continues

Showkat Shafi is the Senior South Asia Photojournalist based in New Delhi, India. His work has been published in Aljazeera, New York Times, Daily Maverick and other international news organizations.