India rape suspects reportedly tried to run over victim
WARNING: This story contains graphic details
The men in India accused in the brutal sexual assault and death of a 23-year-old student threw her off a bus after raping her and then tried to run her over, according to reports citing police notes on the incident.
The Indian Express newspaper says those details of the assault in New Delhi are contained in a 1,000-page charge sheet to be presented in court on Thursday, when police are expected to file formal charges against the suspects.
Five men have been arrested and are to be put on trial in a fast-track court. Police on Tuesday said a bone test would be conducted on a sixth suspect to determine his age because he may have to be prosecuted in a court for juveniles.
Police say the suspects raped the medical student and beat her and her male companion with iron rods before throwing them off the bus.
The woman bit three of her attackers as she attempted to fight them off, local newspapers and TV reports said on Wednesday.
The Times of India newspaper said the charge sheet would likely begin with details on how the driver of the private vehicle allegedly took part in the rape.
The victim was being treated in a Singapore hospital for severe injuries suffered in the Dec. 16 attack when she died on Saturday. Her ordeal has sparked an outpouring of anger in India and a series of protests.
On Wednesday, hundreds of women marched silently through the streets of New Delhi to demand greater protection for women and stronger rape laws.
The assault has horrified many in the country and brought unprecedented attention to the daily suffering of Indian women, who face everything from catcalls and groping to rapes.
Politicians accused of sexual offences still on the job
Some also want to draw attention to inaction on alleged sexual offenders who are working politicians.
India's top court said Wednesday it will decide whether to suspend lawmakers facing sexual assault charges.
Chief Justice Altamas Kabir has agreed to hear a petition on Thursday from retired government administrator Promilla Shanker asking India's Supreme Court to suspend all lawmakers from the national and state legislatures who are facing prosecution for crimes against women.
'We need to decriminalize politics and surely a serious effort has to be made to stop people who have serious charges of sexual assault against them from contesting elections.'—Political analyst Zoya Hasan
She also asked the court to force the national government to fast-track thousands of rape cases that have languished in India's notoriously sluggish court system for years.
Six state lawmakers are facing rape prosecutions and two national parliamentarians are facing charges of crimes against women that fall short of rape, said Jagdeep S. Chhokar, an official with the Association for Democratic Reforms, which tracks political candidates' criminal records.
In the past five years, political parties across India nominated 260 candidates awaiting trial on charges of crimes against women, he said. Parties ran six candidates for the national parliamentary elections facing such charges, Chokkar said.
"We need to decriminalize politics and surely a serious effort has to be made to stop people who have serious charges of sexual assault against them from contesting elections," said Zoya Hasan, a political analyst.
With files from The Associated Press