Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A march in Bhopal is held to raise awareness about crimes against women last week. Today a fast-track court held its first hearing in the gang rape and killing of a 23-year-old student that triggered nationwide outrage. Sanjeev Gupta / EPA
A march in Bhopal is held to raise awareness about crimes against women last week. Today a fast-track court held its first hearing in the gang rape and killing of a 23-year-old student that triggered nationwide outrage. Sanjeev Gupta / EPA

Father of Delhi gang rape victim wants swift justice and hangings

The first hearing of the trial gets underway as defence lawyers ask for the venue to be moved out of Delhi.

NEW DELHI // The father of a student who died after being gang raped on a bus in New Delhi called for swift justice and for her attackers to be hanged as five men accused of her murder prepared to go on trial today.

As a defence lawyer tried to persuade India's top court that the trial should be shifted out of the capital, the father of the 23-year-old victim said her family would only rest once a fast-track court had handed down its verdict.

"We have finished the mourning rituals for my daughter in the village but our mourning will not end until the court passes down its verdict. My daughter's soul will only rest in peace after the court punishes the men," the father said.

"It is the duty of the court and the judges to ensure that the final order to punish all the accused is handed down quickly and all the men are hanged.

"No man has the right to live after committing such a heinous crime."

The assault last month on the medical student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sparked mass protests across India, in particular in New Delhi which has been dubbed the country's "rape capital" over the incidence of such attacks.

The trial is being held in a fast-track court to circumvent India's notoriously slow justice system, with the victim's family leading widespread calls for quick closure on the case.

But in a move that could lead to a significant delay to proceedings, the Supreme Court today agreed to consider a request to transfer the trial to a venue outside New Delhi.

ML Sharma, counsel for defendant Mukesh Singh, said it would be impossible for his client to receive a fair hearing in the city where the December 16 attack took place.

The application for a transfer will be considered by the Supreme Court tomorrow, but in the meantime proceedings are expected to go ahead in the fast-track court.

The five men face murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping and other charges, with prosecutors expected to demand the death penalty. A sixth suspect, who claims he is 17, will be tried by a separate juvenile court.

Defence lawyers say they will enter not-guilty pleas and accuse police of torturing the adult defendants, aged between 19 and 35, to confess.

But prosecutors say they have DNA evidence linking the defendants to the attack in which the student and a male companion were assaulted on a bus as it was driven around the city, having been picked up after seeing a movie.

The prosecutors also have the victim's hospital-bed declaration before her death and testimony from her 28-year-old companion who took part in identification parades after the ordeal.

The senior prosecutor Rajiv Mohan, who has vowed to seek the death penalty for the "heinous" crime, has said that "we have sufficient evidence against all the accused" to secure a conviction.

The woman, a promising student whose father worked extra shifts as an airport baggage handler to educate her, suffered massive intestinal injuries during the assault in which she was raped and violated with an iron bar.

She died 13 days later after the government airlifted her to a Singapore hospital in a last-ditch bid to save her life.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National