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Central & South Asia

India rapists 'tried to run over victim'

Grisly account emerges of the rape of a woman in New Delhi last month, as prosecutors seek death penalty for accused.
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2013 18:29
The victim's ordeal brought simmering anger about widespread sex crime in India to the boil [GALLO/GETTY]

The gang of rapists, who brutally assaulted a 23-year old  woman on a bus in New Delhi last month, had tried to run her over with the vehicle after the attack, according to reports which cite a grisly police account of the incident.

The victim's boyfriend, who was beaten up and thrown off the bus after the woman had been repeatedly raped, managed to pull her to safety just in time, police are set to allege in a 1,000-page charge sheet to be presented in court on Thursday.

"The woman and her friend were stripped and thrown out of the bus," The Indian Express reported. "Her friend pulled her away when he saw the bus reversing to run her over."

 

 India rape survivor's long wait for justice

The victim, a medical student, died from her injuries in a Singapore hospital on Saturday after a 13-day struggle to survive injuries so grievous that her intestines had to be removed.

She also underwent three major surgeries and suffered a cardiac arrest before being flown to Singapore.

Indian prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for the men accused of gang-raping her.

Five men have been arrested and are expected on Thursday to formally face murder and rape charges in a fast-track court set up to try them. A sixth suspect is thought to be aged 17 and is expected to be tried in a court for juveniles.

The victim, whose ordeal has brought simmering anger about widespread sex crime in India to the boil, bit three of her
attackers as she attempted to fight them off, local newspapers and TV reports said on Wednesday.

These injuries on the suspects, as well as forensic evidence such a blood, semen and hair samples and the testimony of the injured boyfriend, are expected to form the main evidence against the accused, police sources said.

The Times of India newspaper said the charge sheet would likely begin with details on how the driver of the private vehicle, who allegedly took part in the rape, got his group of friends together and set out for a joyride.

Destruction of evidence

IN DEPTH
  Are women safe in India?
  Insensitive remarks add to India's rape shame
  The violence of rape
  Bus attack highlights India's rape epidemic
  India announces inquiry into Delhi gang-rape
  'Honour killings' bring dishonour to India

One of the charges against the accused relates to the destruction of evidence, the paper said, since the driver had tried to wash the bus and had burned the clothes that were snatched from the victim.

The brutality and horrific nature of the attack led to protests in the capital and elsewhere and prompted calls for the death penalty for the rapists.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters marched in India's capital, New Delhi, demanding more rights and greater security for women, local TV network NDTV reported.

The "Women Dignity March" culminated at Rajghat, memorial of tallest freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi, and was also attended by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

The government set up a special 13-member committee on Tuesday to look into safety issues and review the functioning of Delhi police on a regular basis.

A panel to recommend changes to the criminal law dealing with sexual crimes was set up last week.

Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor, meanwhile, sparked a debate on Wednesday when he suggested that a proposed new anti-rape law to toughen sentences against sex offenders be named after the dead student.

While much of her identity is known, her name has not been disclosed.

"Unless her parents object, she should be honoured and the revised anti-rape law named after her," Tharoor wrote on Twitter.

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