Home World Asia News Delhi gang rape: Five suspects to be charged

Delhi gang rape: Five suspects to be charged

Five men are to be charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of an Indian woman on a Delhi bus last month.

The 23-year-old medical student died at the weekend from injuries she sustained during the December 16 attack, in an incident that sparked national outrage.

If convicted, the five could face the death penalty. They are not expected to appear in court in person.

A sixth suspect is reported to be under 18 and a juvenile. Police have ordered a bone marrow test to confirm his age.

The charges will be presented at Delhi’s Saket district court.

Although it is mandatory in India for the accused to appear in person to be charged, policemen outside the court say they will not be presented for security reasons.

The trial is expected to begin as early as the weekend, with daily hearings.

Media reports say the charges and evidence run to more than 1,000 pages, including key testimony from the woman before she died, and that police have lined up about 30 witnesses.

On Wednesday, thousands of women marched through Delhi to Rajghat – the memorial to India’s independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi – to protest against the rape and Indian attitudes to women.

Five men are to be charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of an Indian woman on a Delhi bus last month

Five men are to be charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of an Indian woman on a Delhi bus last month

Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was among the protesters, and called for stringent anti-rape laws.

The family of the victim, who has not been named, have said they would have no objection if a new anti-rape law was named after her, as suggested by India’s Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor.

Protests have been taking place every day since the gang-rape with protesters expressing anger over attitudes to women in India and calling for changes to the laws on violence against women.

The woman and a male friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus.

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars then thrown out of the moving bus into the street.

On Tuesday, police sources said the driver of the bus had tried to run her over after throwing her out, but she was saved by her friend, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

The Indian government has been heavily criticized for failing to protect women.

According to official figures, a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, while women across the country say they are frequently subjected to sexual intimidation and violence.

Since the bus attack, Delhi officials have announced a series of measures intended to make the city safer for women.

These include more police night patrols, checks on bus drivers and their assistants, and the banning of buses with tinted windows or curtains.

The government has also set up a committee under a retired Supreme Court judge to recommend changes to the anti-rape law.

A telephone helpline has been launched for women in distress, connected with police stations across the city.

But many of the protesters say that women are viewed as second-class citizens, and that a fundamental change in culture and attitudes, backed up by law, is needed to protect them.

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.