Hanging the four men convicted of the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old woman will not end India\'s scourge of rape, activists said on Friday, adding there was no "quick-fix" to the multiple threats faced by women in the country.
A special fast track court sentenced the men to death on Friday following the brutal attack nine months ago, which prompted thousands of usually apathetic urban Indians to take to the streets and stirred national debate about rising crime against women.
As many Indians - including the parents of the victim, politicians, Bollywood celebrities and the public on the streets and on social media sites - welcomed the death penalty, human rights groups and some feminists expressed concern.
"Sending these four men to the gallows will accomplish nothing except short-term revenge," Tara Rao, director of Amnesty International India, said in a statement.
"While the widespread anger over this case is understandable, authorities must avoid using the death penalty as a \'quick-fix\' solution. There is no evidence that the death penalty is a particular deterrent to crime, and its use will not eradicate violence against women in India."
Increasing the number of courts, judges and prosecutors, sensitising police to gender crimes and improving security on the streets are essential steps for tackling sexual violence, said Amnesty India, adding that the gang-rape case should not be taken as an exception.
Some 244,270 crimes against women were reported to the police in 2012, against 228,650 in 2011, according to the National Crimes Records Bureau.
These included rapes, kidnappings, sexual harassment, trafficking, molestation and cruelty by husbands and relatives.
They also included crimes in which a woman was driven to suicide as a result of demands for a dowry from her husband or in-laws.
Women\'s rights groups and lawyers say many of these cases take years to come to trial, if at all, and that the Delhi gang rape case was exceptional because of the level of media and public attention.