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Central & South Asia

Father 'did not want India rape victim named'

Father of Indian girl tells Hindustan Times he did not want his daughter identified, as suspects set to appear in court.
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2013 02:41
The case brought thousands to the street in protest against gender abuse in India [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

The father of Indian woman who died after being gang raped and tortured has said he had not allowed his daughter to be identified after the British Daily Mirror Sunday paper edition revealed her name, Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times reported on Monday.

"I have only said we won't have any objection if the government uses my daughter's name for a new law for crime against women that is more stringent and better framed that the existing one," the paper quoted him saying.

"I want my daughter to be known as the one who could bring a change in the society and laws, and not as a victim of a barbaric crime," he told the daily-based newspaper.

"I want my daughter to be known as the one who could bring a change in the society and laws, and not as a victim of a barbaric crime."

- Father of victim

India has seen widespread protests in the wake of sexual assault on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, when the 23-year-old woman was gang-raped and tortured with iron rod by six men, including a juvenile.

Five men charged with the brutal gang-rape and murder of the paramedic student will appear in court for the first time after police said they had forensic evidence to link them to the killing.

Legal experts say the court in the Saket district of the capital would likely transfer the case to a more senior court during Monday's hearing.

"The court will ask them if they have lawyers and then it will appoint an Amicus Curiae (lawyer) to represent them and supply copies of the chargesheet to the accused," said Vishwender Verma, a senior advocate at Delhi High Court.

"The case will then be committed to a sessions court as a magistrates' court cannot try rape and murder cases."

The student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had spent the evening at a cinema with her boyfriend on the night of the attack.

Face death penalty

The five suspects, who could face the death penalty if convicted, are also charged with kidnap, robbery and conspiracy over the attack that sparked protests in India and soul-searching about the levels of violence against women.

The defendants have been named as Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vijay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta.

A sixth accused, who is 17, is to be tried in a separate court for juveniles.

It normally takes months for the prosecution to assemble such a case, but the legal proceedings are getting under way barely a week after the 23-year-old medical student died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

The government, sensitive to criticism that a sluggish justice system often compounds the agony of victims, has pledged to fast-track the case against the defendants who are aged between 17 and 35. They all live in Delhi.

Police have pledged "maximum security" during the hearing at the magistrates' court amid fears for the defendants' safety.

A man was arrested last week as he allegedly tried to plant a crude bomb near the home of one of the men.

Rape cases are usually held behind closed doors in India and it will be up to the court to decide whether the media will be allowed to report.

The police have issued an advisory saying "it shall not be lawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to such proceedings" unless they receive permission from the court.

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Source:
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