A New Delhi court caps one of India's highest profile trials, sentencing four men to death for the murder and gang rape of a medical student.
A New Delhi court today sentenced the four men convicted of gang raping and murdering a 23-year-old medical student, pronouncing “death to all" in a ruling that underscored the outrage caused by the case.
The attack last December sparked large protests across India as demonstrators and activists called for reform of sexual violence laws and demanded changes in attitudes toward women. The death penalty in India is reserved for only the “rarest of rare” cases.
“This [case] falls under inhuman nature of the convicts and the gravity of offense they committed cannot be tolerated,” said Judge Yogesh Khanna in his ruling. “[The] court cannot turn a blind eye to such a gruesome act. When crime against women is rising on day-to-day basis … at this point in time [the] court cannot keep its eye shut. … The case falls under the rarest of rare category.”
A total of six men were accused of tricking the physiotherapy student and a male friend on their way home from a movie onto a chartered bus on Dec.16. Prosecutors said the men beat her male friend and raped the woman, using a metal bar to inflict serious injuries. The two were then dumped, naked, by the side of the road. The woman later died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
The driver of the bus where the attack took place committed suicide in jail earlier this year, and a juvenile court found a 16-year-old guilty last month, sentencing him to three years in a reform facility.