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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Delhi gangrape: not Raisina Hills, Facebook is the new protest site

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 10, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(10/1/2013) | Last Updated: 11:40 IST(10/1/2013)

The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who was brutalised in a moving bus by six men on December 16, is no more. But the sense of outrage and fury among the youth over the grisly incident is yet to abate. The protest site has just shifted from the Raisina Hill and India Gate to social media.

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Until Wednesday, 11 days after the victim succumbed to her severe multiple injuries in a Singapore hospital, around 50 pages and accounts had spawned on popular social media website, Facebook.

Even as they poured scorn over the alleged apathy of the state and the police in either preventing or handling crimes, including rape and the need to empower women, the creators of the pages used the real name of the victim.

This, despite a legal ban on revealing the identity of a rape victim.

A few of these pages and accounts have even revealed the victim's father name, her alleged photo, and her educational profile among other identity particulars. One such account's cover picture, bearing the dark silhouette of a girl whose gaze is fixed on the ground as she sits before sea-green waters with a male companion, bears a striking caption: "Main jeena chahati thi (I wanted to live) 'xyz' (name hidden to protect the victim's identity).

The 'info' section about the account's author only carries an untitled poem in Hindi.

The poem is captivating and seems to be suffused in the pain of the victim: "Mother, just tell them (my friends) this, live with caution in this world of the beasts ('darindo ke duniya me sambhal kar rehna)… Mother, they might torture you, they will taint you for the sin of giving me freedom. Mother, bear the pain, but never say that you should not be blessed with a daughter in your next birth."

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/1/10_01-13-pg-02d.jpg

The person who created the Facebook profile carried educational and residential details of the victim, has over 170 'friends', and carries over a dozen photographs, including of the street protests that took place after the incident when she was being put into an ambulance outside a hospital. 

Responding to the revelation of the victim's identity particulars on social media, her brother told HT, "Obviously not ethical, but as long as they are not writing anything negative about it, I guess it is okay."


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