|Parents of Delhi victim welcome death sentence for Indian gang rapists, city reports 1,098 rapes
All four Indian adult convicts in the New Delhi gang rape last December were sentenced to death for rape, murder and destruction of evidence in a what is seen as an historic judgment by a fast track court.
Handing down the sentence Friday, Judge Yogesh Khanna said that “courts cannot turn a blind eye'' to such crimes, saying the attack “shocked the collective conscience'' of India.
“I am very happy our girl has got justice,'' said the victim's father, who cannot be named under Indian laws guarding his daughter's identity as a rape victim. The victim's mother, said that her daughter's "wish has been fulfilled at last.''
A total of 1,098 cases of rape have been reported to police in Delhi alone so far this year, according to figures in The Times of India Friday.
One of the four, 20-year-old Vinay Sharma, broke down as the sentence was read, his wail filling the tiny courtroom. Sharma was an assistant at a gym and the only one of the attackers to graduate from high school.
The sentence must be confirmed by India's High Court. The men can appeal their case to the Supreme Court, and ask the president for clemency.
The court said Friday the sentences were handed as the "rarest of the rare" case given the gravity of the crime and inhuman torture of the victim by the convicts, said local TV channel CNN-IBN.
The family of the victim, 23-year-old medical student, immediately expressed satisfaction while thanking the court, police and lawyers.
The girl was raped and tortured to death by six men on a moving bus in south Delhi. The minor offender in the case was earlier given three years' sentence in a correctional home while the main accused in the case was found hanged himself in jail.—Xinhua/AP/AFP