News / Asia

Death Penalty for Four Convicted in India Gang Rape

  • Demonstrators hold a sign outside a court where four men were sentence to death for a gang rape, New Delhi, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • A demonstrator shouts slogans outside a court where four men were sentenced to death for a gang rape case, New Delhi, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • A woman writes on a poster demanding death by hanging for the four men convicted in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus last year, outside a court in New Delhi, Sept. 11, 2013.
  • Delhi police secure a gate after protesters broke through a police barrier and entered the court complex demanding the death penalty for the four men convicted in the fatal gang rape of a young woman, New Delhi, Sept. 11, 2013.
  • Protesters shout slogans outside a court in New Delhi, Sept. 11, 2013.
  • Defense lawyer A.P. Singh reacts to a protester heckling him for defending a convict in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus last year, outside a court in New Delhi, Sept. 11, 2013.
4 Men Sentenced to Death in India Gang Rape
Aru Pande
In the Indian capital, a judge has sentenced four men to death in connection with the brutal gang rape and murder of a young woman late last year. The attack shook India, with many watching to see if justice would be done and whether the attention surrounding the case would translate to actual change in how crimes against women are addressed.
 
Calls to hang the convicts by the woman’s parents and the public were answered Friday when the four men, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, received the death penalty in the fast-track court.
 
In his guilty verdict earlier in the week, Judge Yogesh Khanna noted the depravity of the crime, with the men using iron rods to brutalize and “intentionally” kill the “helpless victim.”
 
Brutal Gang Rape Shocks India

2012

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

2013

  • Jan. 2: Five suspects charged with rape and murder
  • Jan. 17: Case against five suspects sent to special fast-track court
  • Jan. 23: Government panel calls for new sexual assault laws
  • Jan. 28: Panel rules sixth suspect will be tried as a juvenile
  • Feb. 2: The five accused being tried in the fast-track court plead not guilty
  • Mar. 11: Indian police say one of the suspects killed himself in jail
  • Aug. 31: Juvenile suspect found guilty
  • Sept. 10: Remaining four suspects found guilty
  • Sept. 13: Court sentences the four to death by hanging
The 23-year-old woman 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, her friend badly beaten. Both were thrown off the bus, bloody and battered. The young physiotherapy student died two weeks later at a Singapore hospital.
 
Following the attack, people poured onto the streets of major Indian cities in angry demonstrations. Political scientist Radha Kumar, director of the Delhi Policy Group, said the public fury delegitimized the “awful legitimacy” society often gives acts of violence against women, with many identifying with the young woman and her story.
 
“The name itself is symbolic, that they called her 'braveheart,' " noted Kumar.  "She was not a victim, she was a fighter. She struggled for everything. She struggled for her education, she struggled for a job, she struggled to have a life in the city.”
 
And this struggle is the same for so many other women, particularly in New Delhi, who say they feel unsafe whether it be on a public bus or walking home after dark.
 
Prompted by the December gang rape, the Delhi Policy Group put out a gender scorecard last month to examine the status of women using indicators such as sex ratio, health, education, political representation, decision-making, employment and crime. India failed in all categories except employment.
 
The report found crimes against women have increased 25 percent from 2008 to more than 244,000 reported cases in 2012.  New Delhi retains the infamous title of the rape capital of India.
 
The gender scorecard found that not only are crimes against women under-reported, the conviction rate for cases that make it to court are only about 24 percent.
 
In response to the December 16 gang rape and the protests surrounding the attack, the government passed anti-rape laws and set up special fast-track courts in the capital.
 
Prominent women’s rights activist and director of the New Delhi-based Center for Social Research Ranjana Kumari said the police investigation, seven-month trial, conviction and sentencing of the men involved in the brutal attack will serve as a key precedent for the 90,000 rape cases that are still pending nationwide.
 
“My hope is that every rapist will be punished," Kumari said. "All 90,000 girls who are awaiting some conviction, some judgment will be delivered a judgment quickly and they don’t have to wait endlessly to get the judgment, their family also needs justice.”
 
On a cultural front, Kumari said the case and the attention surrounding it may help shift attitudes in that women may be less likely to remain silent on rape and other sexual assaults at the risk of being deemed “impure” by society.
 
“That is why women don’t report [sexual assaults], because of social shame and parents want to hush up cases," noted Kumari. " After this, I definitely think there are a lot more women who are already reporting and will report in the future.”
 
As for the four men who received the death penalty for the December 16 attack, their sentence must be confirmed by the Delhi High Court.  Their lawyer says they will appeal.
 
The parents of their victim tell reporters that their daughter has finally received justice but that the fight is far from over.

You May Like

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

What Happens When Americans Eat What They Tweet

You are what you tweet, according to new maps that show a correlation between obesity and tweeting about high-fat foods More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Narmadha Devi from: chennai
September 14, 2013 4:55 AM
What is required is elimination of all kinds of discrimination against women from the mindsets & behavior of all members of a community. This is of course a long process and there can’t be a simple and fast track solution like capital punishment for violence against women, which is only a symptom of the age old disease patriarchy. Both the brave heart as well as the six perpetrators including the juvenile and the one who committed suicide are victims of the patriarchal mindset.

by: Plain Mirror Intl from: Plain planet- Africa
September 13, 2013 11:40 AM
Oh, the peoples' voices have been heared! This is Justice! More of this type of judgement would bring the pride and reputation of women in India back on the rightful track. Execute more of the beasts in India for the women to have their rightful place and freedom in the society. The girl once again lives and her memories live... . Justice has been done!

by: Lilly from: England
September 13, 2013 10:35 AM
Justice has been done!!

India I salute you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs