That wasn’t the only problematic statement by the former top cop that evening. Sangliana reportedly also said, “If you are overpowered, you should surrender, and follow up the case later. That way we can be safe, save life, prevent being killed.”
Journalist Susheela Nair, who also attended the award function, said, “We never expected a man of his position to make such a comment, especially at a place where you are present to celebrate womanhood. He had said that when you are getting raped it is better not to oppose and if you are overpowered, you should surrender and follow up case later to prevent being killed.”
“It was shocking and disgraceful”, she added.
It is still not clear if Nirbhaya’s parents could hear Sangliana’s speech clearly but in her speech, Asha Devi summed up the frustration many feel with fighting a long battle to secure justice. “We have law, police, government but justice is something that does not come easy. Nobody now is scared of the law, law is not a deterrent. We most times feel happy during these once a year celebrations, but that is only a token if it does not lead to change,” she said.
Her daughter, 23 year old physiotherapy student, was brutally gang-raped on a bus in Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012. India’s braveheart lost her life on December 29 the same year, but her trauma and the brutality of what she faced, triggered a series of protests that eventually led to amendments to laws that deal with crimes against women, including rape, stalking, among others.