Delhi Police have officially charged five men with the kidnap, gang-rape, and murder of a 23-year old woman in Delhi, according to the Press Trust of India.
If found guilty the accused could get the death sentence.
The sixth accused is believed to be under 17 and could be tried in a juvenile court, though reports say police are still awaiting the results of a bone density test to determine his age. According to some reports, the juvenile was the most vicious of the attackers.
The woman was raped, and beaten and violated with a metal rod on December 16 and died at a hospital in Singapore on December 29. Her male companion was also brutally beaten in the attack. The brutality of the attack sparked protests in New Delhi and across the country. The victim's father has said those responsible for the attack should be hanged.
Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan told reporters that the crime was "well-planned", according to The Times of India. "Each one of them has a specific role in the commission of the offense. So they are equally liable for the crime. We have sufficient evidence against all the accused including the juvenile offender," he said.
We previously reported that The National Crime Records Bureau of India shows that 24,206 cases of "rape" were reported in India in 2011, with a low conviction rate of 26.4 percent. This doesn't include "crime against women" which covers molestation, kidnapping, and sexual harassment, which saw 228,650 cases reported in 2011, with a conviction rate of 26.9 percent. Moreover, in a country where rape is still taboo, a large number of rapes go unreported.
Latest figures suggest that a woman is raped every 20 minutes and that rapes in Delhi are up 16 percent to 661 cases this year. Rape is almost an epidemic in the country, where another assault reported on an 18-year-old in the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya. Meanwhile, a Congress leader in the North Eastern state of Assam accused of raping a woman was attacked by villagers.
The case against the five accused will be tried in a fast-track court.
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