The trial of the five men accused of raping and killing a young student in New Delhi begun behind closed doors. The case that has ignited nationwide outrage and protests over violence against women.
Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal ruled that the media would not be allowed to attend the proceedings on Monday, at the request of the prosecutor, AP reports.
The five men could face death penalty if convicted of a series of charges brought by authorities, including rape and murder. A sixth suspect, who is 17 years old, will be tried in a juvenile court.
Two of the defendants offered to become “approvers”, or informers against the others, to seek lighter sentences, according to AP.
A DNA test confirmed that the blood of the victim matched blood stains found on the clothes of all the accused, Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said last week.
The 23-year old medical student and her male companion were attacked on a moving bus before being thrown on the side of the road after more than 2 hours, where passersby ignored them and police reportedly delayed help, the companion said in a television interview.
The case is expected to be brought to a special “fast-track” court after massive protests led to calls for tougher rape laws and reforms on stigma associated with rape victims.
The father of the unidentified victim, who died weeks after the attack, apparently denies urging the media to reveal her name to serve as an inspiration to victims of sexual assaults.