DELHI (TIP): The case against five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi has been moved to a fast-track court for trial, lawyers for the defendants said Friday, January 18 The case is scheduled to begin Monday, January 21, they said. A sixth suspect will be tried in a youth court if it is confirmed he is a minor.
In the December 16 incident, passengers and the driver of a bus allegedly attacked the woman and her male companion, raped the woman, robbed them and dumped them by the side of the road. The badly beaten woman was flown to Singapore for treatment after the attack.
But she did not survive. She died about two weeks later while undergoing treatment. The five men are charged with murder, rape and kidnapping and face death penalty if convicted. A juvenile court is determining the age of a sixth suspect, who has said he is 17, too young to be tried as an adult.
In view of the public outrage, government of India has pledged to strengthen laws against sexual assaults. The number of reported rapes in India — a country where a cultural stigma keeps many victims from reporting the crime — has increased from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011, according to official figures.