Indian rape accused charged; victim's father calls for hanging

Thu Jan 3, 2013 8:22am EST
 

By Annie Banerji and Suchitra Mohanty

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Five Indian men were formally charged in court on Thursday with the gang rape and murder of a physiotherapy student in a case that has generated widespread anger about the government's inability to prevent violence against women.

The December 16 attack on the 23-year-old student and a male companion provoked furious protests close to the seat of government in New Delhi and has fuelled a nationwide debate about the prevalence of sexual crime in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.

The woman died of her injuries in hospital in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment, on Saturday.

The five are accused of assaulting the woman on a bus in New Delhi, leaving her with such severe injuries that she died two weeks later. They were not present in court.

A sixth accused is under 18 and is due to be tried separately in a juvenile court.

A public prosecutor read out charges including murder, gang rape and criminal conspiracy. The court will examine the charges on Saturday, duty magistrate Surya Malik Grover said.

Murder carries the death penalty in India.

The father of the woman said earlier he backed the chorus of calls for those responsible to be executed.   Continued...

 
People arrive at a district court in New Delhi January 3, 2013. The December 16 attack on the physiotherapy student and a male companion provoked furious protests close to the seat of government in New Delhi and has fuelled a nationwide debate about the prevalence of sexual crimes in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi