News / Asia

Indian Gang Rape Suspects Appear in Court

Indian police officers stand outside the district court where five men accused in a gang rape were brought to appear in New Delhi, January 7, 2013.
Indian police officers stand outside the district court where five men accused in a gang rape were brought to appear in New Delhi, January 7, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
Five of six men charged in the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi have been produced in court in the Indian capital. The country's chief justice also wants more fast track courts to ensure quick justice for crimes against women.

There was tight security in the New Delhi court where the five accused men were produced before a magistrate Monday. Proceedings were closed to the media and the public following chaotic scenes in court. The magistrate said that the trial will remain closed due to the sensitivity of the case.

  • An India woman participates in a protest against the recent gang rape of a young woman in moving bus, in New Delhi, India, January 7, 2013.
  • Police stand guard outside the Saket district court where the accused in a gang rape are being tried, New Delhi, India, January 7, 2013.
  • A Delhi state police van believed to be carrying the accused in a gang rape leaves the Saket district court in New Delhi, India, January 7, 2013.
  • Amran sits on an indefinite hunger strike at Jantar Mantar to protest the gang rape of a young woman in moving bus, in New Delhi, India, January 7, 2013.
  • Indians sing devotional songs during a gathering to mourn the death of a rape victim in New Delhi, India, January 5, 2013.
  • Indian children paint messages during a gathering to mourn the death of a rape victim in New Delhi, India, January 5, 2013.
 
Monday's chaos was triggered by the massive crowd in the small courtroom and also a ruckus between a lawyer who offered to defend the men and other lawyers who said the accused do not deserve to be represented.

The five suspects, between the ages of 19 and 35, have been charged with murder, rape, and kidnapping of the young woman who died of the severe injuries she sustained when she was brutally gang-raped in the Indian capital last month. A sixth accused, who is a teenager, has been produced in a juvenile court.

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
The lawyer, Manohal Lal Sharma, who offered to defend the men said they deserve representation.

Sharma said all the five accused are innocent until proven guilty according to law. He said if they were rich, instead of slumdwellers, they would have had top lawyers defending them.

The next hearing will be on January 10. Later, the trial will move to a fast track court which opened last week. The government hopes to conclude the proceedings within weeks and meet widespread demands for quick justice.

Prosecutors have told the court that there is forensic evidence to link the defendants to the crime scene. They will also rely on a statement given by the rape victim to police as she lay in a hospital battling for life.

Two of the five accused have offered to testify against their fellow defendants. They have already confessed to participating in the attack.

The gang rape in Delhi has triggered massive outrage and put the spotlight on rape and sexual assault in India as well as calls for a change in attitudes which often blame rape victims for the crime.

On Monday, there was furor over comments by a Hindu spiritual leader, Asaram Bapu, who suggested that the Delhi rape victim was also responsible for the crime as she boarded a bus in which there were no women. He said she should have called those who assaulted her brothers and pleaded for mercy.

A senior leader of the opposition Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Ravi Shankar Prasad, called it a regrettable statement.

“He is the biggest guru, the country looks up towards him. For him to make this statement in relation to a crime which has shocked the conscience of the country is not only unfortunate, but deeply regrettable,” said Prasad.

Amid a growing cry for speedier justice for crimes against women, India’s Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, has asked High Courts to establish more fast track courts in to expedite similar cases. He said the delay in concluding trials could be a reason for the spurt in crimes against women.

The government is also considering reforming the way police and the legal system treat sexual assault after reports of police insensitivity and judicial inaction in sexual assault cases.

You May Like

Somalia: No Popular Elections in 2016

In interview Wednesday with VOA, President Mohamud says 'one person, one vote' elections will not be possible due to continuing insecurity More

Scientists Predict Climate Change Will Increase Child Malnutrition

Public health expert in Germany says that by 2050, 25 million more children's lives will be put at risk because of lack of nutrients tied to climate change More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Elz from: Canada
January 09, 2013 1:35 AM
My god, Gang rape on a moving bus? The accused should be shot on sight, not charged. What does this say for India as a country to allow this to happen on a moving bus?! How can individuals treat a woman as if she doesn't have a soul or life. As a rapper, I know we have some messed up lyrics but I'm speaking on behalf of all mainstream and underground rappers right now. Rape isn't right and it should not happen.

by: Gayathri Hewagama from: Sri Lanka
January 07, 2013 11:05 PM
We are all, in our own "small" ways responsible for this crime. In countries like ours, girl children are schooled into being victims-otherwise why are we, as women, taught since childhood to be feminine, weak, subordinate, passive fools. Why aren't we taught how to assert ourselves as strong, independent human beings who want to live our lives with freedom and dignity? Are we vegetables??? The horrendously sexist culture in which we live is entirely to blame. We are entirely to blame!

by: Concerned from: Washington DC
January 07, 2013 3:08 PM
No one seems to talk about the Mohammed 'the juvenile' rapist, who lured the couple in the bus, Mohammed hit the girl on the head with the rod, Mohanned abused the girl with the rod, Mohammed raped the girl twice, once when she was conscious and once when she was unconscious, Mohammed threw both of them out of the bus, Mohammed also reportedly pulled the girls intestines with his bare hands, he was a bus attended who slept int he bus now is in juvenile home has warm clothes, bed and fresh food everyday.Mohammed's life is actually better after the rape incident, and also he will most likely get no more than couple of years of government hospitality courtesy of taxpayer.

by: Richard Kuechle from: Lincoln CA
January 07, 2013 1:35 PM
Spiritual Leader Asaraum Bapu comment seems to suggest that at least some of the accused are Hindu or that is or was part of their spiritual background. I sincerely hope that journalists will pursue research into how this faith's attitude toward women is an integral part of the mind set that has allowed authorities to look the other way.

by: tab
January 07, 2013 1:14 PM
So, lets understand how someone who claims to be a Spiritual leader can be so undeniably arrogant and cold-blooded. No one who claims to be Spiritual would make such a remark as the comments by a Hindu spiritual leader, Asaram Bapu. Maybe he should endure what this innocent, helpless young woman endured and ultimely died from the torture inflicted upon her, then maybe he would change his ignorant attitude. He is not worthy of being called a spiritual Anything! Shameful.

by: Daniel Durazo from: Richmond, VA
January 07, 2013 1:06 PM
What a terrible tragedy. I hope justice is served and that her death leads to real changes in the system.

by: Chris from: USA
January 07, 2013 12:11 PM
"....if they were rich, instead of slumdwellers, they would have had top lawyers defending them."

This is part of the problem. Rich rapists will get off and slumdwellers will mimic the act. The legal system is a joke in India. It shouldn't matter if the perp or victim is rich or poor - in either case, these rapists should be put to death. Rape was only part of the crime - they mutilated this woman while she was still alive, then tried to kill her by running her over. I'm concerned about the "juvenile" who may get off with 3 years. California had enough of this and said perps of such violent crimes can be tried as adults. Changes need to be made to India's legal/"justice" system.

by: SeniorMoment from: Washington State, USA
January 07, 2013 10:28 AM
As long as the proceedings are televised for India to witness whether or not the trial is fair to the everyone involved and the punishment sufficient to the crime, it was probably a smart move to close the trial to keep the alleged rapists safe in that the public is angry enough to potentially beat these men to death if the police protection is overwhelmed. They are innocent until proven guilty, at least they would be in the USA. I can't speak to India's legal system or the new fast track courts one way or another.

Non-televised proceedings of any kind though would be a huge mistake by the magistrate. All of the women in India are closely following this case and many have withdrawn from the workforce hurting India's economy on account of this incidence and the personal risk of commuting to work without being raped along the way from what I have read in the news.

by: SK from: Bengaluru
January 07, 2013 6:38 AM
The "female" police officers are discussing what their good-for-nothing husbands are going to cook tonight, while the dog stands guard.

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