Delhi gang rape: call for death penalty as four men convicted
Family of victim who died after being gang-raped warn crime will happen again if men are not hanged
FOUR men have been convicted for the gang rape of a student on a Delhi bus - an assault so brutal that that the victim died two weeks later from internal injuries.
The 23-year-old woman's death led to a wave of unprecedented anger and protests across India last December and forced the introduction of tough new laws to punish sexual offences.
The four accused - Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta - denied the charges, which included rape and murder.
But today Judge Yogesh Khanna told the court: "I convict all of the accused. They have been found guilty of gang rape, unnatural offences, destruction of evidence... and for committing the murder of the helpless victim."
Protesters gathered outside the court calling for a harsh sentence. Many were disappointed with the sentence handed out last month to the teenage boy who also took part in the attack. He was sentenced on 31 August to three years in a reform facility, the maximum term possible because the crime was committed when he was 17. He also denied all the charges.
Another suspect, Ram Singh, was found dead in his cell in March. Prison officials believed he hanged himself but his family claim he was murdered.
The victim's family is seeking the maximum punishment for all four men. Her father told the Times of India: "They should be only given the death sentence so that it sends out a strong message to the people and nobody dares to commit such a barbaric crime in the future. If they do not get death sentence, my daughter would not get justice, and in the days to come, this crime will take dangerous form."
AP Singh, the defence lawyer for the four men, claims the verdict came about due to political pressure. He told India Today: "The accused did not get a fair trial. It is a mockery of justice. The verdict was only given to appease people." ·