Scores of protesters gathered near India's Parliament on Tuesday demanding the death penalty for six men accused of the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi last month.
Scores of protesters gathered near India’s Parliament on Tuesday demanding the death penalty for six men accused of the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi last month.
The protesters carried placards saying: “Give us Justice, Hang the Rapists,” and shouted slogans before conducting a mock hanging of the men who are facing trial in a special court in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition to move the trial out of New Delhi.
The petition, filed by a Delhi-based lawyer, argued that the men would not get a fair trial because of the charged atmosphere in New Delhi following the outcry over the rape and subsequent death of the woman.
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The court declared the petition void because the lawyer who filed it was no longer representing one of the defendants.
Also Tuesday, the victim’s family said it would appeal against a ruling by a juvenile court that one of the accused would be tried as a juvenile since he was under 18 when the attack took place.
The juvenile court’s determination means the teenager he will face a maximum term of three years in a reform facility. If tried as an adult, he could face the death penalty if convicted.
The victim’s father, who cannot be identified until the end of the trial because of a gag order, said a bone test should be conducted on the teenager to determine his age.
Meanwhile, the specially appointed fast-track court was separately hearing arguments in the trial of the men charged with attacking the woman and a male friend on a moving bus.
Details of the proceedings were not available because of the gag order against revealing what happens inside the courtroom.
Police say the 23-year-old victim and her friend boarded the bus on Dec. 16 after seeing an evening movie. But the bus turned out to be off-duty and was being driven by a group of friends who, police say, attacked the couple and then took turns raping the woman. They also penetrated her repeatedly with a metal bar, causing massive internal injuries. The two were eventually dumped on the roadside. The woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
The brutal attack set off nation-wide protests and sparked a national debate about the treatment of women across the country and the inability of law enforcement to protect them.
Since the gang rape, sexual violence has become front-page news nearly every day across the country, with demands that the government do more to protect women and prosecute those that attack them. A government-appointed panel last week announced a wide range of measures on ensuring women safety.