Five suspects charged with Indian gang rape
Five men have been accused of gang rape, murder and kidnap following an incident involving a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a bus in New Delhi.
The unnamed young woman died in hospital after the 16th December attack, succumbing to organ failure after the brutal assault. She was travelling home from the cinema with a male friend.
The court hearing will be held on the 5th January and there are rumours circulating about the implementation of the death penalty. The victim’s father told reporters: “The whole country is demanding that these monsters be hanged. I am with them.”
The charge sheet against the suspects is allegedly nearly 1,000 pages in length and is reliant on the victim’s testimony, which was recorded in hospital.
Daily protests have taken place, provoking consideration of India’s complex and turbulent history involving women’s rights, as well as a bid for tougher penalties and faster conviction rates.
Police are yet to file charges against the alleged sixth member of the group. The individual, suspected to have been the most brutal of the aggressors, is said to be aged 17. If he is trialled as a juvenile his punishment will include three years in a children’s home or detention centre.
Public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said: “Each one of them has a specific role in the commission of the offence. So they are equally liable for the crime.”
BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder said: “This has touched a raw nerve with the public and could become a watershed case.”
All members of the Saket Bar Association’s executive board have refused to defend the accused suspects, though the court will ordain defence lawyers. The board’s director Rajpal Kana said: “We are not taking this case on the grounds of humanity.”