India gang-rape suspects face death sentence



A man and a woman dressed as Lady Justice join mourners after news of the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Shocked Indians on Saturday were mourning the death of the woman who was gang-raped and beaten on a bus in New Delhi nearly two weeks ago in an ordeal that galvanized people to demand greater protection for women from sexual violence. The placard says,’war for justice’. AP/ Saurabh Das

NEW DELHI — India was engulfed by a mass outpouring of grief and anger Saturday for the victim of a gang-rape as her body was flown out of Singapore hours after she died in a hospital of her horrific injuries.

As police said the six accused of murdering the 23-year-old could face the death penalty, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led appeals for calm to prevent a repeat of the sometimes violent protests that followed the December 16 assault.

Thousands took part in fresh demonstrations but they passed off peacefully as mourners vowed the medical student’s killing would serve as a tipping point for how the nation deals with violence against women.

The victim’s body was prepared in a funeral parlor in Singapore, before the coffin began its journey back to India with her parents who were at her bedside when she was pronounced dead at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital before dawn.

The plane carrying the gold-colored coffin took off from Singapore’s Changi Airport shortly after midnight, India’s envoy in the city state told AFP, and was expected to reach Delhi before dawn.

Protesters who gathered in the Jantar Mantar thoroughfare in central Delhi, scene of the largest protest, said the unnamed student’s death was a wake-up call for a country in denial about the levels of violence that women face.

The numbers swelled throughout the day and into the evening, with some 5,000 taking part in a candlelit vigil after nightfall despite near freezing temperatures.

Bela Rana, who was among the protestors, said the outrage after the attack represented a sea change and women were no longer prepared to suffer in silence.

“We are aware that this is not the first case, nor will it be the last case of gang-rape in India, but it is clear that we will not tolerate sex crimes any more,” said Rana, a Delhi-based lawyer.

After previous protests had been broken up by riot police, Saturday’s passed off peacefully.

However when the chief minister of New Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, tried to join the crowds she was roundly heckled and quickly withdrew.

Some of the protesters, who also gathered in outlying areas of the capital, carried banners that read “Hang the Rapist”, accompanied by a picture of a noose.

While six men who had already been arrested have yet to be formally charged, they are now accused of murder.

“We have booked all the six accused under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. It is a non-bailable offense which carries the death sentence,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP.

Dharmendra Kumar, one of Delhi’s most senior police officers, said formal charges were expected to be filed by January 3.

The police have been heavily criticized for their hardline tactics in trying to quash the protests, including the frequent use of teargas and water cannon.

Gang-rapes are a daily occurrence in India and many go unreported by victims who have little faith in an often painfully slow justice system and are deterred by the response they can receive from male police officers.

But the particularly savage nature of the attack in Delhi has brought simmering anger to a boiling point and prompted the government to promise better security for women and harsher sentences for sex crimes.

After boarding a bus on December 16, the student was attacked by the men who took turns raping her and assaulted her with an iron bar before throwing her and her male companion off the moving vehicle.

“We have already seen the emotions and energies this incident has generated,” said Singh.

“These are perfectly understandable reactions from a young India and an India that genuinely desires change.”

Shah Rukh Khan, the most famous actor in Bollywood, tweeted that the victim had forced India to confront a shameful reality.

“We couldn’t save u but wot a big voice u have… That voice is telling us that rape is not an aberration, not a mistake,” he wrote.

“Rape embodies sexuality as our culture & society has defined it. I am so sorry that I am a part of this society and culture.”

After the death was announced in Singapore, the Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan spoke of the ordeal endured by the family of the victim, who hail from a rural part of Uttar Pradesh state.

“They have repeatedly asked me to say how inspired they are by the many messages of support and condolences they have received,” he said.

“This reinforces their view that the death of their child will lead to a better future for all women in India and in Delhi.”

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  • xmb458

    Kung tutuusin mas masahol pa sa kahayupan ang ginawa ni Palparan sa mga batang estudyante. Pinadukot, pinagnakawan na nireyp at pinatay pa ang mga biktima niya… hindi lang iisa ang kanyang biktima… kaya ang bansag sa animal na ito ay HENERAL BERDUGO. Ngayon nagtatago na sa lungga na parang daga at nakapatong sa ulo niya ang milyong milyong halaga mahuli man buhay o patay! Animal talaga!

    • Rosauro

      A general won’t do that! You ask people who closely know the man and you will wonder how good he is and how afraid the communists are of him.

      • Critical

        Sabihin mo yan sa mga pamilya ng pinadukot, tinorture at hangang ngayon ay nawawala pa sa mga lugar na he was the army commander.

      • generalproblem

        kayo ang mga dumukot sa mga yun pinapalabas nyo lang na army. gawain nyo yan nung panahon pa ni joma hehehehe. diba npa ang naghagis ng granada sa bombing sa mediola hmmmm. npa mga kawatan.

      • Joms

        sabihin mo rin yan sa mga pamilya at mamayanan ng buong pilinas na nakadanas ng pag torture at pagmamalupit ng mga gunggung na NPA na taga pagtangol ng masa kuno… “bantay salakay”

    • generalproblem

      hay naku na naman kayong mga npa eh wala nang masabi. eh paano naman yung mga kasama nyo na pinatay nyo dahil pinagbintangan nyong mga dpa. kayong mga npa na tulisan ng peste sa pilipinas. kunting pagkain na isusubo na lang ng mahihirao ninanakaw nyo pa at sasabihin nyo sa media na kayo ay tagapagtangol ng masa. mga animal kunin na sana kayo ni lord. ay mali wala nga pala kayong lord kundi si satanas

      • xmb458

         Naku eh sa pagmumukha na lang ng animal mong amo eh sa bayawak na eh! Paano nakuha ang bansag sa kanyang berdugo kung hindi siya hayup sige nga. Dahil NPA ang nagsabi?? hahaha!. Ang mahirap sa iyo ay laging NPA ang dinadahilan mo pag nasukol na ang hayop mong amo… Yon bang kamag-anak ng mga nireyp at pinatay ng animal mong amo ay NPA? O hindi kaya kamag-anak o ikaw mismo mo si Heneral Berdugo? Masaki ang lola mo rireypin nyan tandaan mo!

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • Love God

    My heart broke reading this news. 

    It reminds me of how terrible the life of a woman. She have to painfully give birth to a child yet the male dominated society treat her as a sex toy, a commodity, always the victim of all kind of violence and cruelty.

    It is the solemn responsibility of all nation to adopt stricter law to protect our women and children against violence and sexual harassment.

    My love and prayers to all victims of injustice. Blessings for a peaceful new year 2013.


  • generalproblem

    lam nyo naman sa lugar na yan ang mga babae eh ay hindi kapantay ng mga lalaki. pag kinasal sila ang babae ang magbabayad o magbibigay ng dowry sa magulang ng lalaki. lahat ng batas nila ay nakatuon sa kaligtasan ng mga lalaki. pakistan. india, bangladesh. sri lanka eh medyo civilized sila. anyway hope this episode will be the new start for the life of indian and muslim women all over the world

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