'Fake' photo of Delhi rape victim goes viral: police
05 January, 2013
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The father of a student in south India has complained to police after Internet users circulated a photo of his daughter on social media claiming it was the Delhi gang-rape victim, officers said Friday.
A picture tribute to the dead Delhi woman, who was repeatedly raped on a moving bus on December 16 and thrown out of the vehicle in a crime that appalled the nation, has gone viral on Facebook.
Her name and identity have been withheld by police and the media in line with a law that entitles victims of sex crime and their families to anonymity to protect them from social stigma. Vinayakumar, an assistant commissioner in the cyber crime unit of Kerala police in south India, said that the photo used in the Facebook tribute was a fake and had caused distress. "We have received a complaint from the father stating that the photograph uploaded on Facebook as the Delhi rape victim picture was fake," the officer, who goes by one name, told AFP.
"The picture used was his daughter's photograph uploaded with her Facebook profile. We have directed Facebook officials to delete the photograph and help us to track the culprits," he added.
The brutal gang-rape of the 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi on December 16 has led to a bout of national soul-searching over the treatment of women in Indian society and provoked daily protests.
Meanwhile, a group of 600 guitarists have paid a musical tribute to an Indian gang-rape victim, playing "Imagine" by John Lennon in a bid to spread "hope, peace and promise" in a country still coming to terms with the violence.
The group assembled at a music festival in the eastern Indian hilltown of Darjeeling on Thursday, nearly three weeks after the brutal rape and murder of a student on a moving bus in New Delhi brought an outpouring of national anger.
"We chose this song because it talks about hope, peace and promise," Sonam Bhutia, tourism secretary of Darjeeling and one of the festival organisers, told AFP by telephone.
"The song is so inspiring. It talks about a universe without any boundaries," Bhutia said of the 1971 Lennon track.
"The tribute was a gesture on our part to show that we are with the victim's family in their hour of unimaginable sorrow."
The scenic town of Darjeeling, in a part of India wedged between Nepal and Bhutan, is famous for its tea.
The savage attack on the woman has triggered countrywide protests with calls for better safety and an overhaul of laws governing crimes against women.