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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora