India Charges Six Accused Rapists With Murder

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 29 2012 11:00 AM

Six Charged With Murder in India After Rape Victim Dies, Could Get Death Penalty

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Demonstrators in New Delhi call for improved safety for women on December 24

Photo by RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: Hours after the rape victim’s death was made public, Indian police said they had charged the six men accused of being her attackers with murder. That means they could get the death penalty. As expected, protesters gathered in New Delhi and other cities across the country to demand tougher action on crimes against women. But, unlike last weekend when protesters and police clashed, demonstrations were relatively peaceful, reports Reuters.

Friday, December 28: The 23-year-old Indian woman who was gang-raped and beaten on a bus two weeks ago in New Delhi died early Saturday at a Singapore hospital. Her horrific rape, which resulted in severe organ damage when her attackers inserted an iron rod into her body, shocked Indians who took to the streets demanding greater protection for women and harsher punishment for rape. The woman, who was never identified, also suffered brain damage and a lung infection as well as a heart attack while in a hospital in India, reports the Associated Press.

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The death of the young medical student could lead to more protests and clashes with the police, points out Reuters. Her rape has received blanket coverage and outraged Indians who say rapists are rarely punished and most women choose not to report sex crimes because authorities are highly insensitive when dealing with victims. Highlighting the difficulties faced by the victims, the family of an 18-year-old woman in the Indian state of Punjab who committed suicide on Wednesday after she was raped last month blamed the police inaction for her death, reports the New York Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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