Fremont vigil attendees call for legal, cultural changes in honor of India rape victim

Worldwide rage unleashed by last month’s brutal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi who died on Saturday highlights a frustration that has been building for years over sexual harassment and violence on India’s streets, says an East Bay woman who works with South Asian women who are victims of domestic violence.

“It’s not one incident,” said Preeti Shekar, executive director of the organization called Narika. “This has been happening for a while and this was the tipping point.”

Hundreds of Bay Area residents expressed similar anger during a candlelight vigil held Tuesday night at the Fremont Hindu Temple.

Lakshmi Moorty, a Santa Clara woman, drove nearly an hour to attend the ceremonyhonoring the victim of the brutal Dec. 16 attack, in which six young men used a metal rod to fatally assault a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus. The woman’s boyfriend also was beaten but survived.

“This incident has moved me so much, I haven’t been able to celebrate anything during the holidays,” said Moorty, a 69-year-old retired mathematics professor. “It has created a movement of awareness of safety for women, and it’s not going to be stopping.”

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Chris DeBenedetti

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