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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid