Police in India have submitted 50 pages of criminal charges against five men on Thursday, including murder, rape, robbery, assault, and kidnapping for the brutal gang rape of a young woman that has generated worldwide outrage. The official accusations still remain confidential, but police say they will ask for the rarely used death penalty for the five suspects. A sixth suspect will also be charged as a juvenile.
The five men are accused of luring a 23-year-old woman and her boyfriend onto a fake passenger bus on December 16, beating and robbing both of them, then sexually abusing the woman for several hours before leaving them both for dead. The woman died two weeks later from internal injuries. Though her identity has not been released, there have been calls in recent days to pass new laws protecting woman from abuse and to name the law after her. No date has been set for the trial, but the nation is setting up a series of "fast track" courts to try and clear a massive backlog of sexual assault cases that remain untried in a notoriously slow legal system.
There are also concerns about security and a fair trail for the suspects, who will not appear in court today and have unable to find any lawyers willing to defend them. Police say extra security measures will be taken when the men eventually come to court, in order to avoid any "mob justice." Despite weeks of protests over the horrific treatment of women in India, and the lack of enforcement for sexual crimes, more incidents of violence continue to be reported across the country.