The Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) of India has requested that television stations in the country not cover the funeral of the young Delhi gang-rape victim who died in a Singapore hospital on Saturday morning.
According to Press Trust of India, BEA chairman Shazi Zaman requested that the news media respect the privacy of the victim’s family.
The young woman’s body is expected to be flown back to India for a private funeral at an unknown location.
The BEA’s general secretary, N.K. Singh, told PTI: “In view of the need to protect the identity, dignity and privacy of the deceased and her family, the BEA has asked the channels not to cover the funeral and not to show any visuals of the funeral.”
Separately, following the lead of many protesters and activist groups, the Editors Guild of India has demanded that the government impose tougher sentences on those convicted of sex crimes against women and also speed up the criminal justice process. (Some protesters have even called for the death penalty in such cases).
Delhi police have arrested six men in connection with the gang-rape, including the driver of the private bus where the brutal sexual assault occurred on Dec. 16. The defendants are now facing murder charges.
“The Guild recognizes that the heinous crime of rape is far too common an occurrence in the country, and calls for speedy action to make punishment for rape both speedy and certain, as that is the surest preventive step that can be taken,” EGI said in a statement.
The Guild also praised how the Indian media has covered the ongoing tragedy.
“The Guild recognizes the role played by the social media in mobilizing people to come out and express their solidarity, and notes that this marks an important change in the non-political organization of widely shared feelings and thoughts. Governments will have to respond, and governance change,” the group added.
Meanwhile, the rape victim’s family is planning the funeral at a poor remote village in the state of Uttar Pradesh, near the border of Bihar.
Lalji Singh, the woman’s uncle, told The Hindu newspaper: “This village will not forgive the men who did this. Cut their limbs and set them on fire!”
Singh also said that the young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor and enjoyed her parent’s full support, sacrificing much for her education, including the sale of land.
“She had made up her mind very early that she wanted to become a doctor,” he said.
“My brother’s entire salary was spent on educating his children so that their aspirations were fulfilled. We are four brothers and our childhood was very difficult too. Just like my brother did for his children, our parents sold land and struggled to get us educated.”
Another relative, Suresh Singh, said of the woman: “She was a mild person and was only interested in academics. We have lost a brave daughter today.”
He bitterly added: “The government talks about equality and promises that girls and boys will both get opportunities to study and progress. But what facilities has it ensured for the safety of our girls? How do we know such things won’t repeat?”
The girl’s home region is stuck in grinding poverty, with many seeking to escape to the cities.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.