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NEW DELHI – One of India’s most horrific crimes saw justice delivered Friday when an Indian court awarded the death sentence to four men who brutally raped and murdered a young medical student last December in Delhi.
The incident sparked fury and a wave of protests which brought together common citizens and celebrities alike, questioning the safety of women in India. The young victim was named “Nirbhaya” (“Fearless” in Hindi) by the media.
After Friday’s verdict was announced — with hordes of news networks broadcasting live from the courts — entertainment industry figures welcomed the judgment posting their views on social media.
“Superb!! For once its been victory of the people!! Delhi Rape Victim.. Nirbhaya’s Rapists To HANG! Bunch of us women having lunch clapped in the restaurant after watching the news on TV,” actress Raveena Tandon posted on her Twitter account.
“Death Sentence of the Rapists!!!!! Thank god…there is a god!!! and finally…there is JUSTICE!!! ” tweeted top director-producer Karan Johar.
“Justice prevails, death sentence for the four rapists! Hope this conveys a message to the other men. They deserve nothing less for such a heinous act! ” said leading actor Akshay Kumar.
Veteran actor Anupam Kher (also seen in Silver Linings Playbook) posted on his Twitter account, “Death Sentence for Rapists. This Friday the 13th is a day of JUSTICE.”
But there was also a word of caution as actress Gul Panag questioned the overall low rate of conviction in crimes against women, “Conviction rates. It’s all about that, ultimately. One verdict may not change much. “
“Justice has been served, but it doesn’t make the dark street alleys or the foot overbridges or many other public places any safer,” read an editorial in leading newspaper The Hindustan Times. The editorial pointed to the general lack of safety for women, especially in light of the recent and shocking gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai.
“The December 16 gang rape verdict has brought a sense of closure in the lives of many people. But to breathe a sigh of relief would be a mistake,” the editorial read. “Perhaps it is a coincidence that the verdict came on Friday 13. Just as in the movie franchise Friday the 13th, the real monster on the killing spree gives the authorities a slip and a false sense of calm and triumph prevails.”
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