News / Asia

    Indian Police Charge Five With Rape, Murder of Student

    Lawyers shout slogans as they hold placards and a banner during a protest demanding the judicial system act faster against rape, outside a district court in New Delhi, India, January 3, 2013.
    Lawyers shout slogans as they hold placards and a banner during a protest demanding the judicial system act faster against rape, outside a district court in New Delhi, India, January 3, 2013.
    Anjana Pasricha
    Indian police have charged five suspects with the rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl in New Delhi. They will be tried in a newly-opened fast track court. The brutal gang rape triggered nationwide protests and demands for quick justice and tougher laws for sexual assault.

    More than two weeks after the crime, police filed charges Thursday against five of the six suspects arrested for the crime. The woman died of the severe injuries she sustained when she was savagely assaulted and beaten in a moving bus.

    The Delhi police have said they will ask for the death penalty for the accused if they are convicted. They have been charged with gang rape, murder and criminal assault.

    A sixth suspect is believed to be a minor and will be tried in a juvenile court.

    India's New Fast-Track Court

    • Inaugurated January 2, 2013 by India's chief justice
    • Will try sexual offense cases against women
    • Will hear cases on a daily basis
    • Is the first of five fast-track courts that will deal with rape
    • Located in the district court complex in New Delhi
    New 'fast track' established

    The case is to be heard in a special fast track court established on Wednesday by India’s chief justice to deal with crimes against women.  Hearings in this court will be held in quick succession in order to conclude the case quickly - some expect by end of next month. That would be a record in a country where trials drag on for years due to a massive backlog.

    The government has promised quick justice following an outpouring of unprecedented public anger over the attack. Days after the crime, thousands of young men and women held protests in central Delhi to demand the severest punishment for the guilty and tougher penalties for rape offenders.

    Watch related video
    Video of protests outside New Delhi district courti
    X
    January 03, 2013 5:10 PM
    Video of protests outside New Delhi district court

    Ranjana Kumari, head of the Center for Social Research in New Delhi, said the huge delay in deciding cases and low conviction rate are the main reasons why those charged with rape often go unpunished.

    “We have 75,000-odd cases pending in different parts of the country at different levels, so unless [the] justice system gets streamlined, and we get fast track courts, this is going to continue to be happening and there will be more anger and frustration because law is not acting as a deterrent, neither people fear the law,” said Kumari.

    The fast track court where the case is being heard is the first of five special courts that are being established in the Indian capital. These courts will hear cases of sexual assault and other crimes against women to bypass the clogged justice system in ordinary courts.

    Protests spur new procedures

    The Indian Bar Association has said it will not defend the six suspects because of the nature of their crime. But the government is expected to appoint lawyers to defend them.

    The massive popular protests against the gang rape took the government by surprise and have prompted authorities to do more to tackle crimes against women and ensure their safety.

    On Monday, a new 24-hour helpline for women in distress was opened in the Indian capital. New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said efforts are being made to fine tune the service.

    Dikshit said there were some initial problems with the helpline, but these are being sorted out. She said those manning the line will be given special training.

    Police say they also are recruiting more female officers to help women who say that when they report sexual assault offenses, police often are insensitive.

    Police figures indicate that crimes against women are growing - partly because more crimes are now being reported. Still, many rapes are never reported because of the discrimination that rape victims often face.

    • Lawyers shout slogans as they hold placards and a banner during a protest demanding the judicial system act faster against rape outside a district court in New Delhi, India, January 3, 2013.
    • Indians stand in a line to enter the District Court complex where a new fast-track court was inaugurated Wednesday to deal specifically with crimes against women, in New Delhi, India, January 3, 2013.
    • An elderly Indian man lights a candle at a makeshift memorial of a gang-rape victim in New Delhi, India, Janueary 3, 2013.
    • Women carrying placards enter Raj Ghat to attend a prayer ceremony for a rape victim after a rally organized by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit (unseen), New Delhi, India, January 2, 2013.
    • A student prays during a vigil for a gang rape victim, who was assaulted in New Delhi, in Ahmedabad, India, December 31, 2012.
    • Students hold candles as they pray during a vigil for a gang rape victim who was assaulted in New Delhi, in Ahmedabad, India, December 31, 2012.
    • Men lie on a street while on a hunger strike during a protest in New Delhi, India, December 31, 2012.
    • Students participate in a protest rally, in Hyderabad, India, December 31, 2012.
    • Indians burn effigies of the rapists during a candle-lit vigil to mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India, December 30, 2012.
    • Indians participate in a candle-lit vigil to mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India, December 30, 2012.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Vince from: California
    January 03, 2013 4:10 PM
    Could this be an unfortunate consequence of the active manipulation of birth gender based upon a cultural preference for boys, which is significantly out of balance and getting worse? If so, this will continue well into the future. It must be scary to be a female in India...
    In Response

    by: Joe from: California
    January 05, 2013 6:05 PM
    @Vince, it is not just scary to live in India as a woman, but all around the world, even in the so-called sophisticated world where our female counterparts in the army or military are raped as well.

    by: William F. Hagen
    January 03, 2013 2:51 PM
    The state should appoint them female lawyers.

    by: JOHN237 from: USA
    January 03, 2013 2:05 PM
    Being an Indian, I am wondering by just passing death penalty bill to the gang rapists will resolve the matter? In India thousands of women are being raped not by outsiders but insiders; their own family members, mostly husband's brothers and fathers and relatives but the victim has no voice or she will be killed or punished more.

    Many priests of the temples also rape their young devotees without any shame or fear and no one can do any thing to them. Many policemen and officers and school staff also rape young kids. Millions of village women have to go near by streams or river for urination or poop and several of them are being raped on daily basis. The worst, race, religions and cast system take advantage of rapes to punish weak. And, CORRUPTION can easily shelter the criminals from getting any punishment. I would like to see how all these rapes victims will get justice in coming months or years.

    by: vikram parikh from: iselin,nj,usa
    January 03, 2013 1:24 PM
    I saw some opinions that the culprits should be castrated or chemical castration should be done.I would like to point that with castration only,that person may not be able to rape but he may take revenge all through his life by either killing women or help other people raping.therfore not only castrating but also that man should be made completely disabled and living only with people mercy and that way suffering.in short the punishment should be so severe that people refrain from raping someone.

    by: Roland from: India
    January 03, 2013 1:10 PM
    Just by changing the law won't change the susceptibility of being raped. There has to be a radical change in the thinking of the people of India. Equally responsible are the things that influence the vulnerable mind of the people of India like the Indian movies that depict women as "items".

    by: Ewor Nek from: Washington, NC
    January 03, 2013 12:40 PM
    How odd that the adult suspects in this horrific rape/murder case have NEVER been DESCRIBED or NAMED in any news media of which I am aware, including the Indian, British and US press. I suppose identifying the perps would be somehow "discriminatory." I further suppose that even raising this question will be seen as "discriminatory," and cause to delete this post -- even though I have not specified whom I believe this whitewashing is seeking not to provoke. The thoroughness of this stonewalling is impressive, indeed.
    In Response

    by: Ewor Nek from: Washington, NC
    January 03, 2013 4:15 PM
    Thanks to all who responded with the data on the identities of the suspects in the New Delhi rape/murder. I had checked Indian and UK, as well as US news sources, and had not been able to find any information until today.
    In Response

    by: SJ from: Arizona
    January 03, 2013 2:54 PM
    The names have been reported in many Indian and UK outlets. You can google for them.
    In Response

    by: Ron from: Texas
    January 03, 2013 1:25 PM
    They are named in this article: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/charge-sheet-filed-against-5-accused-in-gang-rape-case/article4269315.ece
    In Response

    by: Prasanna from: Jacob
    January 03, 2013 1:19 PM
    I agree with you. The Indian media and law and order system has a long way to go when it comes to exposing the hardcore criminals.People in India are used to the lax judiciary system which has failed its peoples faith in justice. Police only works for politically connected powerful people in India. Law abiding ordinary people and their lives have no value.
    In Response

    by: AB from: Dubai
    January 03, 2013 1:08 PM
    FYI - the perps have been named in the Indian media - check out www.ndtv.com or www.timesofindia.com
    In Response

    by: Cathy from: San Francisco Bay Area
    January 03, 2013 1:07 PM
    Well, well, they have been named!

    "The men charged were Ram Singh, the bus driver; his brother Mukesh Singh, who cleans buses for the same company; Pavan Gupta, a fruit vendor; Akshay Singh, a bus washer; and Vinay Sharma, a fitness trainer. They did not appear in court. Authorities have said they would push for the death penalty for the men."

    Link: http://www.mercurynews.com/nation-world/ci_22303835/5-charged-murder-new-delhi-gang-rape
    In Response

    by: Cathy from: San Francisco Bay Area
    January 03, 2013 1:01 PM
    "Name them." That's what I thought before I even began reading the article & I was disappointed to see no names. Unless the Indian legal system requires ALL defendants' names to be kept secret, these (allegedly) subhuman slimeballs' names should be trumpeted worldwide.

    by: Chris from: Panama
    January 03, 2013 12:20 PM
    It is sad to see and to say but that is mostly the way human moves forward and evolve... by moving first in the opposite direction until there are enough people dead or disgusted. Unwillingly, the victim made a big contribution to her country as this event triggered people making contribution willingly for a change.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    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 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 A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    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 First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    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.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora