News / Asia

Four Defendants Found Guilty in India Gang Rape

A police vehicle carrying four men accused of the gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus on December 16, enters a court in New Delhi, September 10, 2013.
A police vehicle carrying four men accused of the gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus on December 16, enters a court in New Delhi, September 10, 2013.
Aru Pande
A fast-track court in the Indian capital has found four men guilty in last year’s brutal gang rape and killing of a young woman that rocked the country and sparked massive demonstrations.

Calls for justice were heard on the streets of India in the days that followed the December 16 attack on the 23-year old student.
 
Brutal Gang Rape Shocks India

2012
  • December 16: Victim is gang-raped and beaten on a bus in New Delhi
  • December 20: Protests intensify and spread
  • December 29: Victim dies in Singapore hospital

2013
  • January 2: Five suspects charged with rape and murder
  • January 17: Case against five suspects sent to special fast-track court
  • January 23: Government panel calls for new sexual assault laws
  • January 28: Panel rules sixth suspect will be tried as a juvenile
  • February 2: The five accused being tried in the fast-track court plead not guilty
  • March 11: Indian police say one of the suspects killed himself in jail
  • August 31: Juvenile suspect found guilty
  • September 10: Remaining four suspects found guilty
On Tuesday, nearly nine months after she died of severe internal injuries - four of the six (Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh) accused in the young woman’s gang rape and murder were found guilty. They have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and their lawyer says they will appeal the verdict.
 
A fifth suspect, Ram Singh, was found hanging in his high-security jail cell in March.  And the sixth accused, who was a juvenile at the time of the attack, was sentenced to three years last month.
 
The woman’s family say justice will only be done when the men receive the death penalty for their crime.

Percentage of men admitting rapePercentage of men admitting rape
x
Percentage of men admitting rape
Percentage of men admitting rape
The woman’s father tells Indian media that “if the men are hanged, then others will get the message and not commit such crimes.  They will think twice about it.”
 
The woman, called “Nirbhaya” or "fearless" by the Indian public and media, was returning home from a movie with a male friend in New Delhi when they accepted a ride on a private bus. The details of what followed the night of December 16 shocked the nation. The woman was repeatedly raped and tortured with an iron rod, her friend badly beaten. Both were thrown off the bus. The young physiotherapy student died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
 
The brutal attack triggered weeks of protests, some violent, as demonstrators called for tougher measures to protect women against such crimes.
 
The government responded by setting up special fast-track courts in the capital to try sexual offenses and passing new anti-rape laws that also made stalking, voyeurism and other forms of sexual harassment punishable with prison terms.
 
But many women, like 40-year-old Shardha Mahesh, say not much has changed in the last year despite the media attention and public reaction to the gang rape.  The New Delhi housekeeper says she still feels unsafe while going to and from work.
 
She says she “gets touched and pushed while riding the bus and is afraid to leave the house after 8 p.m.”  Mahesh adds she “does not believe that women are any safer now and that even if a woman is accosted while walking alone at night, no one will come to her aid.”
 
Others are skeptical of any change in a deeply patriarchal society, where police officers have been known to be unsympathetic and unresponsive to crimes against women.
 
New Delhi’s new police commissioner, B.S. Bassi, whose force came under criticism for its handling of the attack, told reporters Tuesday the case has helped implement change.
 
“In a way you can say it is a watershed, there is no doubt about that. We will like to learn lessons from anything," said Bassi. "Our objective is to improve and improve everyday, and whatever we have learned, we would like to expand it, we would like to disseminate the learning to all our officers.”
 
If anything, Nirbhaya's rape has focused the Indian media’s attention on sexual attacks and the government’s response to the issue. But it remains unclear if the increased attention is actually shifting national attitudes about rape and crimes against women.
 
The four men found guilty Tuesday are expected to be sentenced as early as Wednesday.  They all face the death penalty.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid