Six men brutally raped Jyoti Singh and left her to die.
The 23-year-old student died in hospital from her horrific injuries and her attackers were jailed.
This rape was incredibly brutal. Singh was a student in New Delhi. She got on a bus one night with a male friend and the other passengers, all men, raped her. She was attacked so brutally that her injuries later killed her.
Her companion was beaten for trying to stop it.
Singh’s case electrified India, and was the catalyst for a broad discussion about attitudes towards women. The men were tried and convicted. Four face the death penalty, one hanged himself in jail.
But one was 17 when he raped Singh, and now the Indian justice system says he must be released, having served the maximum sentence the court was able to impose upon him at the time of his conviction.
He walks free this week, despite appeals to the Delhi High Court, and a potential Supreme Court appeal. The news has brought a fresh round of protests.
We can be frustrated and disappointed about this, and it’s no surprise that we feel outraged that someone who police say pulled Singh’s intestines out with his bare hands during the attack will be set free.
I feel all those things.
The question we should be asking now though is how do we make sure this kind of crime doesn’t happen again?
The answer is not as simple as just locking up the one offender. It requires deep cultural change, not just in India but around the world.
The Indian public reacted passionately to what had happened to Singh. Following massive protests and a huge public outcry, laws have changed and penalties for rape and sexual offences have increased.
Changes have been made specifically to address the issue of sentencing. And while it is perhaps easy to single out this one attack as something out of the ordinary, particularly heinous, and carried out by people who are seen as something not human, the truth is less straightforward.