Four Men Convicted in Rape Case in IndiaBy: Erika Watts - September 10, 2013
Following a brutal gang rape and murder in New Delhi that shocked its nation and the world, an Indian court has found the four men accused of carrying out the horrific crimes guilty. Sentencing arguments begin Wednesday, and the four men could receive the death sentence.
“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,” Judge Yogesh Khanna said.
The gang rape occurred in December of 2012 on a bus in New Delhi. The four men convicted, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, plus the bus driver and a juvenile, all participated in the gang rape. The victim and her male friend were going to see a movie when the friend was knocked unconscious with an iron rod, and the female was beaten with the rod and repeatedly raped by the other men on the bus. The rapists threw the victim and her friend off the bus some time later, and they were subsequently taken to the hospital.
The victim survived for 13 days in the hospital following the rape and beating. She was able to write a note to her mother at one point saying, “Mother, I want to live,” but her injuries were too severe. When the victim arrived at the hospital, she only had 5 percent of her intestines, which a doctor said was likely a result of being violated with the rod. Doctors removed the remaining intestines in an attempt to fight off infection. After nearly two weeks of surgeries and other treatments, the woman went into cardiac arrest and died.
The sheer brutality of the case left New Delhi in an uproar. While the rapists were found and arrested within 24 hours, many are outraged with New Delhi police for not doing a better job of protecting its citizens. New Delhi is called the Rape Capital of the World, and rape occurs every 22 minutes in India.
As one of the rapists was tried in juvenile court and another hanged himself in jail, only four of the men were convicted in the crimes. Families of the men plan to appeal the decision.
Following public outrage and protests, India has revised its rape laws. The mandatory sentence for those found guilty of rape was increased from 10 years to 20 years, and if the rape victim dies, the death penalty can be issued. The father of the victim says that he hopes new law will apply here. “If all four are sentenced to death, I can’t imagine anything being better than that…We will get closure,” the father said.