The trial of five men accused of brutally raping a 23-year old student on a moving bus in New Delhi opened on Monday in a special “fast-track” court following outpouring grief over the death of the victim and protests demanding harsher rape laws.
The five men face murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping and other charges, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty in the fast-track court. A sixth suspect, who claims he is 17, will be tried separately in juvenile court, AFP reports.
One of the accused, Mukesh Singh, asked the Supreme Court to move the trial out of New Delhi, saying that outrage over the killing “has gone into the root of each home in Delhi” and “he cannot get justice in Delhi”.
The trial is held in a fast-track court to circumvent India’s notoriously slow-moving justice system after violent protests erupted over the lack of safety for women and the treatment of women in Indian society.
A series of assaults against women occured following the horrifying case, igniting fresh outrage in the country. A seven year-old girl was raped in a school toilet in India, while six men were arrested for allegedly raping a bus passenger in Punjab just four weeks after the attack in New Delhi.