|Indian rape convicts were partners in savagery
The four Indian men convicted over the December 16 New Delhi gang rape and murder of a young girl aboard a bus were economic migrants on the bottom-rung of New Delhi’s social ladder, drawn to the city to escape grinding rural poverty.
All the rapists lived in and around Ram Dass Camp, an unauthorized slum in the south of the city.
Here are profiles of the convicts, as well as the fifth under-age suspect who was sentenced to three years in a correctional facility on August 31.
The brother of Ram Singh who migrated to New Delhi from his ancestral village in the western desert state of Rajasthan. He frequently worked with his brother on the bus and also tried getting a job with a construction company in Delhi.
During court proceedings in April, the unmarried laborer, who has a tattoo of two swords signifying “bravery'' on his left arm, told AFP he was a “very hard working man'' and wanted to “lead a simple life.’’
Aged 29 at the time of the crime, he denied the charges against him and told the court that he “respected women.’’
Aged 20 at the time of the crime, he denied being on the bus. He earned US$100 a month as a helper at a local gym and lived in the same neighborhood as Mukesh and Ram Singh.
He had completed his schooling, unlike the other convicts who are school dropouts, and during the trial said he wanted to appear for a recruitment test for a job with the Indian Air Force.
Sharma submitted an application to the judge to be moved out of Tihar jail after being assaulted by inmates. He suffered a fractured left hand while in custody.
The youngest of the rapists, aged 19, Gupta was a fruit seller who also worked as laborer on roads and construction sites for a couple of dollars a day. During wedding season, he would work with a catering company.
He was arrested at the Ram Dass Camp where he lived with his cousin and was known as a friend of Ram Singh.
A married father of a two-year-old son, Thakur also worked as a helper with Ram Singh and had earlier been employed in a local liquor factory and in a brick kiln.
Aged 28 at the time of the crime, he fled from Delhi on December 17, but was arrested at his father-in-law's home in the eastern state of Bihar. His wife, Punita Devi, told the police, that if her husband is found guilty then he should be “shot dead.’’
A 17-year-old at the time of the attack, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is a run-away who fled his home in impoverished Uttar Pradesh state at the age of 11.
His mother told the police that he was the eldest of her six children and that she had no contact with him during his time in the capital where he had no fixed job or address and often slept rough.
He cleaned Ram Singh's bus and in winter slept in the vehicle.
Italy growth shrinks, revises forecast
Italy downgraded its estimate for growth in the second quarter, saying the economy shrank by 0.3 percent in April to June instead of 0.2 percent initially calculated.
Gross domestic product also contracted by 2.1 percent on a 12-month comparison, worse than the preliminary estimate issued last month of 2.0 percent, the official Istat data agency said in a statement.—AFP