Father of fatal gang-rape victim demands death penalty for accused in New Delhi

VANCOUVER DESI/IANS

New Delhi gang-rape victim father and brother for Desi

The father of the fatal gang-rape victim in New Delhi, along with one of her brothers, attend the start of the trial for five men accused in the crime. IANS

Nearly two months after a 23-year-old student was brutally raped aboard a New Delhi bus, and subsequently died from her injuries, five men accused in the attack appeared in court Tuesday to begin standing trial.

The victim’s father made clear what outcome he desired.

“All the six accused should be hanged,” the father said at a press conference, stressing that he would pursue the case till the end. A sixth accused, and allegedly the most vicious of the attackers, has been declared a minor and will have his case heard by the Juvenile Justice Board.

The trial for the five adults will be presided over by Judge Yogesh Khanna. The accused face a litany of charges, including murder, gang rape and kidnapping, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The gang-rape victim’s male friend, a software engineer, who was also attacked along with her on the bus, appeared as a witness, sitting in a wheelchair and accompanied by his father, police said.

On Monday, police filed a supplementary charge sheet that included the autopsy report of the physiotherapy intern who was allegedly gang raped on Dec. 16, 2012 after catching a bus following a showing of the movie “Life of Pi.” After being treated in India, she was subsequently flown to Singapore for additional care. She died Dec. 29 in hospital.

The other charges against the accused include unnatural offence, destruction of evidence, attempt to murder, causing hurt while committing robbery, dacoity with murder, and common intent.

All the accused have pleaded not guilty.

The court had earlier ordered an in-camera trial, due to the sensitive nature of the crime, restricting media from reporting the proceedings.

As the trial began, the victim’s father held a press conference, one of his sons by his side, where he declared, “I want all six of them to be hanged. We will go to the court and pursue the case till the end.”

He added that his daughter should not be referred to as a gang-rape victim: “It hurts me. She should be called the country’s brave daughter.”

He also said the underage accused should be subject to the death penalty and the law should be amended to allow for that result.

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