India gang-rape shock: Accounts emerge of brutal abuse by underager
The details emerged as five other men allegedly involved in the rape and murder of the 23-year old student were officially charged in court Thursday.
All five men admitted to torturing and raping the student, saying they wanted "to teach her a lesson" after she fought back and bit three of them, Reuters reported, citing a police source.
On Thursday, Delhi Police filed a 1,000-page charge sheet – a formal document of accusation prepared by Indian law-enforcement agencies – in the metropolitan magistrate's court in Saket.
Ram Singh, the main accused in the case, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur have all been charge-sheeted for the offenses of murder, gang-rape, attempted murder, kidnapping, unnatural offenses, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under the Indian Penal Code, the Hindu newspaper reported.
The police dossier included testimony from the woman's companion, who was also attacked by the men but survived, and a man who claimed that he was robbed by the same gang prior to the rape.
The sixth suspect, who according to school records is 17, will be tried separately in a juvenile court, according to Indian law.
The juvenile was reportedly the most brutal abuser of all six men, police said. He, along with Ram Singh, subjected the 23-year-old physiotherapist to sexual abuse twice, including while she was unconscious.
Lawyers shout slogans as they hold placards and a banner during a protest demanding the juducial system act faster against rape outside a district court in New Delhi January 3, 2013. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
"Both of them [Ram Singh and the juvenile] had subjected her to sexual abuse twice. Singh was the first to rape her, followed by the juvenile and then Akshay. Later when she lost consciousness, Singh and the juvenile raped her a second time," the Hindustan Times newspaper quotes one of the officers as saying.
The charge sheet revealed the juvenile also pulled out the victim’s intestine with his bare hands, and suggested throwing the victim naked off the moving vehicle.
Despite being the most vicious abuser, the juvenile is the only one of the six who will not be sentenced to death if found guilty, because of his age. The maximum sentence he may receive is three years in a correctional home from a Juvenile Justice Board; he also has a chance of being granted bail.
The age of the minor has yet to be officially verified – officials have conducted a bone density test to verify the claims.
‘The juvenile should be hanged along with five others’
The victim’s father has demanded the 17-year old abuser be punished first and hanged along with the others.
"The juvenile should be punished first. He was the one who lured my daughter into the bus and tortured her most mercilessly. He should be hanged like the other five accused,” Indian Economic Times newspaper quoted the victim’s father as saying.
The father also demanded a change in Indian law to allow the execution of juveniles.
"Imagine his brutality when he is 17… what a demon he would become once he is older? The government should reduce the juvenile age to 12 or 15 years," he told the newspaper. “They are a threat to every woman on the street."
The father also demanded that new legislation on sex crimes to be named in honor of his daughter.
The district Saket court, where the trial will take place, is expected to assign a defense lawyer for the five men after the Bar Association of lawyers refused to represent them.
Indian students of various organisations hold placards as they shout slogans during a demonstration in Hyderabad on January 3, 2013. (AFP Photo/Noah Seelam)
The Delhi Bar Association also said it would not represent the accused.
"We discussed the issue with office-bearers of various bar associations and it has been decided that no lawyer from the Capital will appear for the accused," association member Rajiv Khosla said.
Lawyers in black robes protested outside the court on Thursday, demanding the judicial system act faster against rape.
An Indian physiotherapy student was brutally raped by the six men on December 16, and died of her injuries last Saturday while being treated in a Singapore hospital.
The violence sparked mass protests in New Delhi, with people, particularly women, demanding punishment for those responsible, as well as new laws to protect Indian women.
New Delhi has an infamous reputation as India’s rape capital, with a report from the Hindustan Times documenting more than 20 rape cases since December 16 in the city.
The incident has drawn international attention to the problem of the violence against women in India, where rape victims often do not come forward to the police for fear of shaming their families or being ignored by police.