Entries in India (54)


Explosions Sink Indian Submarine with 18 On Board

Steve McAlister/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images(NEW DELHI) -- A series of explosions partially sank a submarine docked in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The vessel, built in Russia, contained at least 18 naval personnel at the time of the explosions, reports the New York Times. Officials are uncertain of the condition of those on board.

The vessel, the Sindhurakshak, is one of 10 Indian submarines of its class. According to the Times, India is among the largest arms buyers in the world because of its inability to produce weapons of high quality at a low cost. Much of their defense equipment comes from Russia.

Only nine of India's submarines are currently operational and about five or six operate at any given time, meaning that areas of India's coast are not adequately guarded.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Alleged Rape of 5-Year-Old in India Sparks Protests

SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW DELHI) -- A case of alleged child rape in India has once again sparked protest and anger at the government and police for not doing enough to stop violence against women.

Police say that the victim, a 5-year-old girl, was taken hostage by a neighbor on Monday. She reportedly was kept locked in a room for over two days, and was repeatedly attacked and raped. She was only rescued once her cries were heard by a passerby.

BBC News is reporting that the young girl is in traumatized and in “critical condition,” with injuries to her lips, cheeks and chest.

A crowd formed around police headquarters in New Delhi, as angry protesters held up signs with slogans like “enough is enough,” according to ABC News.

The rape is the most recent in a series of such brutal crimes that have prompted a wave of public outrage and demands for reform.  In December, a student died following a gang rape on a Delhi bus.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Arrests Made in Alleged Gang Rape of Swiss Tourist in India

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- Police in India claim they have five men in custody who apparently confessed to gang raping a Swiss tourist last Friday.

The country is still in an uproar over the fatal gang rape of a local woman three months ago.  Sex assaults by multiple perpetrators have spurred widespread calls for more action by the Indian government to protect women.

In the latest incident, the 39-year-old Swiss woman was attacked at a campsite outside the temple town of Orchha while she and her husband were on a cycling trip through the country.

According to the couple, a gang of men beat the husband and then forced him to watch as his wife was raped by the suspects.  They also allegedly took money and a laptop from the couple.

The woman has since been treated at a hospital and released.  In the meantime, police in central Madya Pradesh state said they detained 20 men and obtained confessions from five of them.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


India’s Kumbh Mela Festival Begins

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images(ALLAHABAD, India) -- Over the next eight weeks, more than 100 million pilgrims will pack the Indian city of Allahbad to bathe in the Ganges River. 

Allahabad is roughly the size of Manhattan, NYC.  By comparison, the 2011 population of New York City was just over eight million people.

The festival, which is believed to be the biggest religious gathering in the world, is called Kumbh Mela and it takes place once every 13 years.  The climax is scheduled for Feb. 10, when up to 50 million people are expected to bathe in the river.

Through it all, pilgrims will drink more than 80 million liters of water, use 35,000 toilets and eat 25,000 tons of wheat and rice.  

As for the cleanup, more than 10,000 street sweepers are on hand, ready to pick up as many as 50 tons of trash every day.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Second Alleged Gang Rape in India Stirs Nation Again

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- There are new shockwaves in India following the alleged gang rape of a woman who boarded a bus in Punjab last Friday night.

For a country already in an uproar about what prosecutors said was the brutal gang rape of a medical student on a bus in New Delhi last month, this new report of a similar sexual attack is certain to stir more demonstrations calling for added protection for women by police.

Unlike the woman in the December attack who died from her injuries, the alleged victim of the Punjab assault survived and told police that both the bus driver and an assistant helped her assailants take her to an undisclosed location where she claimed she was raped all night.

Afterwards, the 29-year-old married mother said she was brought to her village and then notified police.

Six men, including the bus driver, were arrested and charged with rape while another suspect remains at large.

In the case of the dead medical student, at least five men face the death penalty if convicted.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Father of Indian Rape Victim Reveals Name of Daughter

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- At the request of the victim’s father, Britain’s The Sunday People newspaper has published the name of the late 23-year-old woman who was brutally gang-raped in New Delhi last December.

Badri Singh Pandey said he wanted "the world to know her real name," which is Jyoti Singh Pandey.

Legally, the laws in India forbid identification of sex crime victims in an effort to protect them.

However, Pandey told the newspaper, "My daughter didn't do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself."

He added, "I am proud of her.  Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks.  They will find strength from my daughter."

The father also called for the death penalty for the men charged in his daughter's rape, which has galvanized women's rights groups in India to demand that the government do more to make them feel less like second-class citizens in their own country.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Five Men Accused of New Delhi Rape and Murder to Appear in Court

SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW DELHI, India) -- A government prosecutor said five of the six men accused of the rape and fatal beating of a woman on a bus in New Delhi were set to appear in court on Sunday, Bloomberg News reports.

The prosecutor said the five men, all over the age of 18, will be tried for rape and murder, as well as other charges. A sixth accused man, who is a juvenile, is slated to appear before a separate judicial panel Sunday. The prosecutor said police have submitted evidence including DNA test results of the accused men to the court, Bloomberg News reports.

The assault on the woman and her male friend, which resulted in her death two weeks later, has spurred protests across India with demands that the government provides faster justice, safer streets and harsher sentences in rape cases, according to Bloomberg News.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Indian Gang-Rape Victim Dies from Injuries and Is Cremated

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- A 23-year-old Indian woman who died on Saturday after being brutally raped and beaten by a gang of men while riding a bus two weeks ago was cremated in New Delhi on Sunday.

The medical student, who was not identified, had been brought to Singapore for treatment, but physicians were unable to save her because of severe injuries to her body and brain.

Meanwhile, six men seized in connection with the attack face murder charges in the rape and assault that has spurred country-wide demonstrations about how women are treated in India.

India's governing Congress party head Sonia Gandhi has promised to change the social mindset that many say lead men to treat women as second-class citizens.

New Delhi officials have said they would institute a measure to better protect women that includes providing more police night patrols and changes on buses to make female passengers feel more secure.

However, those who back Gandhi believe the male-dominated government remains blind to the everyday problems women face and, in particular, how police often casually disregard rape allegations.

There are also concerns that if men are sentenced to die for rape, it will only make criminals more inclined to kill victims to keep them from testifying against them.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Delhi Rape Victim Dies

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- The female student, who was gang-raped last week in a bus in Delhi, died on Saturday morning, according to the BBC.

The 23-year-old was previously treated in a Delhi hospital before being transferred to a hospital in Singapore, where she passed away, reports the BBC.

Her rape has sparked protests in Delhi for better security for women in the city.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Acid Attack Victim Using TV "Millionaire" Money for More Surgery

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sonali Mukherjee, the 27-year-old acid attack victim who went on India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to win big, told ABC News she plans to use her first prize money to finance more reconstructive surgery on her face.

"My family is very poor," said Mukherjee, speaking to ABC News on Tuesday by phone from her home in New Delhi.  "They paid all our money for my surgeries, and we had to stop my treatment."

On April 22, 2003, when Mukherjee was studying sociology in the eastern city of Dhanbad, three fellow students whose advances she'd spurned broke into her room at midnight as she slept and threw acid in her face as payback.  The attack left Mukherjee disfigured, blind and partially deaf.

Nine years after attack, Mukherjee decided she could no longer hide.  She made a public plea to the Indian government last July for help in receiving skin reconstructive surgery.  She also called for tougher penalties on her assailants, who were released on bail after serving three years in jail.

Mukherjee went so far as to appeal to the government for the right to commit suicide -- suicide is illegal in India -- seeing it as the only way out of her pain.

"I felt hopeless and helpless.  I didn't want to live anymore.  The conditions for my treatment were very difficult," Mukherjee told ABC News.

Soon after her plea to the state, Mukherjee started to receive some assistance.

"I started getting phone calls and messages, and a lot of people came to help. … Now I feel there is some hope. … I don't want to die anymore," she said.

In a desperate attempt to receive more funds, and perhaps feeling somewhat emboldened, Mukherjee became a contestant on Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire -- the same show that was the centerpiece of the 2008 Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Mukherjee answered 10 questions correctly and took first prize -- 2.5 million rupees, about $46,000 -- which will go toward her next round of reconstructive surgeries.

"I've had 22 operations so far and I need many more. … When I recover, I want to help people like me," Mukherjee told ABC News.  "I want to talk to foundations to help other victims of acid attacks.  But I have to get better first."

"I can cash my prize in two months," said Mukherjee, who said she hopes to return to university one day.

"I was really close to graduating before the attack," she said.  "Now I have a dream of going back to university and getting a degree and learning to do more on the computer."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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