Over five years since the fateful December 16 night, when a 23-year-old woman was brutally gangraped shocking the entire nation, not much has changed at the bus stop in South Delhi from where she and her male friend had boarded the bus. The brutal rape, which has made headlines since 2012, registering itself among those few cases where the accused have been convicted, had prompted people to take to the streets and the government to ponder upon the big question of women’s safety.
However, much of the regained consciousness remains on paper, say the residents of South Delhi’s Munirka area. “I have to board a bus or an auto from the same bus stop daily. I heard during the MCD elections that all roads are being made smart roads and there will be smart bus stops. But is having smart buses enough,” said Sheenu Bahl, an IIT aspirant, who goes for coaching in Naraina.
“The bus stop has lights, I agree to that. But it is of no use if there are no buses coming to the area after 9 PM and the roads remain dark. Either I have to wait for too long to catch a DTC bus or board an auto which of course is expensive and unsafe than taking a bus,” she added.
Another girl, who got down from a feeder bus at the bus stop at 10.30 PM, says, “Travelling in these mini buses is chaotic and unsafe, but there aren’t much options. I prefer taking the metro rather than a bus, but to travel from the metro station till Munirka is the issue as the road is deserted and dark.”
Refusing to be named, she said, “My relatives would not like me to get into all this. I am already crossing the line by travelling this late”. A similar scenario prevails near the flyover in Mahipalpur, where the duo were dumped after six men raped the woman and attacked the man accompanying her on December 16, 2012.
“Some lighting has been done but that is on the flyover. However, the roads below the flyover leading to the residential areas continue to be dark. Vehicular movement is also more on the flyovers, so the roads below are deserted as soon as it is dark,” said Chetan, who runs a pan and cigeratte kiosk by the same road. Delhi government has identified around 7,400 dark spots across the city which are currently being illuminated. The Supreme Court had earlier this week upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape case.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was raped and brutally sexually assaulted by six men, including a juvenile, in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The accused then threw the woman and her male companion out of the vehicle, to die by the roadside on the cold December night. The woman died of grave intestinal injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.