“Death to all” – is what Yogesh Khanna, the additional sessions judge announced as a punishment to the four men for the brutal gang rape of a young medical student. The offence was extremely grave and everyone had been waiting for the justice since 16th December, 2012 when this crime took place. Gang rape done in the moving bus in Delhi, an iron rod inserted inside her vagina, huge internal damage was done, her intestine was then pulled out with hands (by juvenile) and she was then thrown out of the moving bus with her male friend who was also beaten up. Few days later that young paramedical student passed away in Singapore Hospital after battling for her life.

But her death and this case stirred the entire nation. Perhaps it was the first time that all the Indians stood united and showed distress. There were protests all over demanding the hardest possible punishment (not less than death sentence) for the rapists. The rage was not only against the crime but also against the entire system that failed miserably. Along with justice, questions regarding the safety of women in India were raised. The case moved to fast-track court. Mukesh Singh, 26, Pawan Gupta, 19, Vinay  Sharma, 20 and Akshay Thakur, 28 had been convicted by judge on September 10, 2013 as there were strong evidences proving their crime of committing brutal gang rape and a murder. There were two more accused in this case, Ram Singh who hanged himself in the jail on 11th March and a juvenile who was given an imprisonment for 3 years, a maximum that can be given to a juvenile. All the four convicts are sentenced to death which has to be confirmed by the Delhi High Court.

The justice proves that our court and system is not blind towards women and such a barbaric crime. But still the cases of sexual assault and crime against women are on rise in India and since 16th December, 2012 many cases of rape and sexual assault have been reported. So the question is whether India has moved forward or it is still at the same place or even moving back? Perhaps we know that still much is required to be done to make our country safe for women. Hence fundamental problem needs to be tackled.

Though much required in this case, but can death penalty stop such crimes against women? Certainly this will not bring an end to the crime against women but for sure the justice will create some sort of fear. The justice done today shows that system is concerned but men also need to understand the concept of women’s safety and her rights. A female is not a commodity, she is a living being.  We need to look beyond the justice for the complete eradication of the root cause. Position of women must be taken seriously in every sphere of life.

The justice done today has conveyed a message that any such barbaric crime would not be tolerated in India and one day India will be the safest place for women to live. Do you think so?

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