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Indian court sentences four men to death for gang rape
September 13, 2013, 9:14 am


India has retained capital punishment although executions are rare [AP]

An Indian court has granted the death penalty to the four men convicted in the rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic in New Delhi last December.

The parents of the victims reacted to Friday’s sentencing saying,”Justice has been done.”

The victim died in a Singapore hospital days after she was sexually assaulted by the four men accused – Akshay Kumar Singh, a bus cleaner; Vinay Sharma, a gym instructor; Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller; and Mukesh Singh.

“I welcome the verdict; the girl’s family has got justice,” said Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde after the death sentence was announced.

A fast track court in Delhi on Tuesday said the act was “brutal and premeditated” and pronounced all four accused guilty of a criminal conspiracy to gang rape, murder and commit unnatural sex on the victim on the night of December 16.

The incident sparked nationwide protests for weeks and subsequently the central government has enacted a stringent anti-rape law.

Shinde had reacted to Tuesday’s verdict saying “the death penalty is assured in this case”.

India has retained capital punishment although executions are rare.

However, India has hung two men in the last decade. Ajmal Kasab, the attacker from the 2008 Mumbai attacks and Afzal Guru for the 2001 attack on India’s Parliament.

Raju Ramachandran, former Additional Solicitor General and senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India reacting to Friday’s sentencing said this case qualifies as one of “those rarest of rare cases” where the maximum penalty was warranted.

“I am in principle against death penalty. But till the clause exists it should be delivered in the rarest of rare cases and this gruesome brutal attack is definitely one such example,’ Ramachandran told The BRICS Post.

A recent report by the United Nations said one in ten men in some parts of Asia and the Pacific region admit to having raped a woman who was not their partner, and a quarter of the men in those places say they have raped their wives or girlfriends.

The study has shown how gender inequities is at the heart of such violence which “is tolerated at best and expected at worst”, urging focus on “gender-inequitable social norms and gender-inequitable constructions of masculinity”.

The BRICS Post

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