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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs