Nirbhaya convicts hanged: A long way to go in ensuring safety of women

Delhi Police offers flowers to students as they leave after appearing for Class 10 and 12 exams in the riot-affected Jafrabad area of northeast Delhi. PHOTOS: PTI
The hanging of four convicts in the infamous Delhi gang rape and murder case of December 2012 brought down the curtain on one of Independent India's most heinous sexual assault cases. The case not only shook the conscience of the country but also prompted the government to usher in concrete changes in its legal framework and make stringent punishment the norm rather than the exception in sexual crime cases. Ever since the death warrants were issued against all the four convicts, they resorted to every available legal means to delay their hanging. While we have every reason to heave a sigh of relief and celebrate the fact that justice has been done, we should not be blind to the fact that we still have a long way to go to ensure that women in the country are safe. Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau still point to the fact that there is no let-up in crimes against women. More than the severity of the punishment, it is the certainty of the punishment that will act as an effective deterrent and will prevent instances of women ending up as victims of sexual crimes. M Jeyaram  Tamil Nadu

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