News / Asia

India Gang Rape Trial Begins as Country Rethinks Justice System

Delhi policemen stand guard near the gate of a district court where the accused in the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student are undergoing trial, in New Delhi, India, Jan. 24, 2013.
Delhi policemen stand guard near the gate of a district court where the accused in the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student are undergoing trial, in New Delhi, India, Jan. 24, 2013.
Aru Pande
Five suspects accused in the brutal gang rape in India's capital arrived in a fast-track court for the start of their trial. The proceedings begin a day after a government panel issued recommendations to overhaul the Indian justice system's handling of crimes against women.
 
Unlike their previous court appearances, the start of the suspects' trial for rape and murder began quietly in New Delhi and with little media coverage, since the proceedings were closed to the public.

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
Six men, including a juvenile, are accused of brutally beating and gang raping a student after she boarded a bus in the Indian capital with a male friend on December 16.  The 23-year-old woman was later flown to a Singapore hospital for treatment and died two weeks later after sustaining massive internal injuries.

The fact prosecutors could present their arguments Thursday, so soon after the attack, is a first in a country where it can take years for criminal acts to be prosecuted.  The fast-track court was created directly in response to what many here see is a failure in the country's justice system.

Sudha Sundaraman is with the All India Democratic Women's Association.

"It has followed upon a case that has galvanized the whole nation, raised the public conscience, said Sudha.  "And I do believe that the government has to therefore listen to the voice and the concerns."

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
A government-appointed panel issued a scathing report Wednesday highlighting the system's failure to enforce laws that protect women from violence and harassment.  

Acting upon thousands of suggestions from the public and rights activists, the commission called on police to register each and every rape case and said such trials should be held in a speedy manner.  The panel also suggested that stalking, voyeurism and other forms of sexual harassment be punishable with prison terms.

While activist Sundaraman praised the panel report as a step in the right direction, she acknowledged that true change must come from society as a whole and that she must rely on her own instincts to ensure her safety.

"If it is night, and if I am returning say from somewhere late in the night by train, then I find that I do not feel so secure," Sundaraman said.

It is a sentiment shared by many women here in India's capital, who hope that some change can come from such a horrific tragedy.

  • A Delhi policeman stands guard near the gate of a district court where the accused in a gang rape are undergoing trial, in New Delhi, India, January 24, 2013.
  • A man wearing a mask of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh participates in a protest along with women outside the court where the accused in the gang rape will be tried, in New Delhi, India, January 21, 2013.
  • A boy places a candle as demonstrators hold placards during a candlelight march for a gang rape victim, who was assaulted in New Delhi, January 16, 2013.
  • Students protest the alleged inaction by the Indian government in the case of the gang rape of a 23-year-old student in a bus in New Delhi, India, January 16, 2013.
  • 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.
  • Indians sing devotional songs during a gathering to mourn the death of a rape victim in New Delhi, India, January 5, 2013.
  • Protesters shout slogans as they hold placards and banners during a protest demanding the judicial system act faster against rape, outside a district court in New Delhi, India, January 3, 2013.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid