New Delhi: In remarks that can stoke a controversy, Union minister Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday favoured making public the identity of the 23-year-old gang rape victim wondering what interest is served by keeping her name under wraps.
Tharoor, the minister of state for human resources development, also said the revised anti-rape legislation should be named after the victim if her parents do not have any objection. “Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of #DelhGangRape victim. Why not name&honour her as a real person w/own identity?” he asked on micro-blogging site Twitter. “Unless her parents object, she should be honoured&the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being w/a name,not just a symbol,” Tharoor said.
Under the law, the identity of a rape victim cannot be disclosed and printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom rape is committed is an offence under section 228-A of Indian Penal Code. His comments also came close on the heels of Delhi Police registering a case against an English daily for publishing material, which could lead to the identification of the victim.
Tharoor’s comments sparked instant reactions on Twitter with people supporting and questioning his suggestions. “Why are you after creating honours, idols and temples again instead of making real changes to criminal justice system?” Chirdeep, one of the users, asked. Anil Wanvari, however, wrote: “A good suggestion. This is exactly what I had recommended four days ago. Cheers!”
The girl was gang raped and brutally assaulted allegedly by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi on 16 December. She died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December.