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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Bus rapists will face death penalty

Published 13/03/2014 | 12:02

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The attack in December 2012 sparked a public outcry over the treatment of women in India (AP)

A court in New Delhi has confirmed the death penalty imposed on four men convicted of the gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus.

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A special fast-track court had sentenced the men in September, saying their crime was one of the rarest of rare cases that warranted the death penalty.

The Delhi High Court has now dismissed the appeals filed by the men and said it "affirmed" the sentence given by the lower court.

The 23-year-old medical student and a friend were returning home from the cinema in December 2012 when the men tricked them into boarding a bus they were joy-riding.

They beat the friend into submission, held the woman down and took turns at raping her. She suffered severe internal injuries that led to her death two weeks later.

The brutality of the crime unleashed a wave of public anger over the treatment of Indian women and a long-unspoken epidemic of sexual violence in the country.

All six men involved in the attack were arrested soon afterwards.

Police say one of the men hanged himself in prison. Another man - an 18-year-old who was a juvenile at the time of the attack - was convicted and ordered to serve three years in a reform home.

A defence lawyer said the remaining four men would appeal against today's decision in the Supreme Court.

AP Singh, a lawyer who has represented the four men at various times during the trial, said: "These men have been falsely implicated."

The nationwide outcry following the gang rape led the federal government to rush through legislation increasing prison terms for rapists and criminalising voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women.

Press Association

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