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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid