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2012 Delhi Gang Rape incident


A 23-year-old female medical student was gang rape in Delhi on 16 December 2012. The victim boarded a bus in South Delhi around 9:30 pm, after watching a movie. They were assaulted by a group of six males and then raped the female victim. The assailants have thrown both the victim and his male companion out of the moving bus.

The woman was admitted at Safdarjung Hospital and was placed on mechanical ventilation. She has since had a number of surgeries performed. The doctors removed her small intestine to save her life. The victim might also need a organ transplantation. On 26 December 2012, she was moved to Singapore for further treatment. The victim continues to be in a critical condition.

The incident has generated a national outrage and was covered by international media as well.

The police has recorded the statements of the girl and his male friend who accompanied her at the time of the incident. The case trial will begin on January 3, 2013.

Accused

Six men have been arrested in connection with the incident:

  • Ram Singh, the bus driver, arrested in Rajasthan
  • Mukesh Singh, brother of the driver, arrested in Rajasthan
  • Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, arrested in Delhi
  • Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller, arrested in Delhi
  • Raju, a minor, was detained by police in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh
  • Akshay Thakur, a former student at the Tandwa school in Jharkhand who had gone to Delhi seeking work, was arrested in Aurangabad, Bihar.

Shifted to a Singapore Hospital

The victim was flown to Singapore in a special air-ambulance. She was accompanied by her family members a team of doctors. The victim is admitted to Mt. Elizabeth Hospital which has a super-speciality multi-organ transplant facility. The Government has also made arrangements for the family's stay in Singapore as the treatment is expected to take a while. Before she was flown to the Singapore hospital, three abdominal surgeries were performed and the victim suffered two cardiac arrests. Dec 26, 2012

As the victim battles for her life at the Singapore hospital, questions were raised as to whether the move to Singapore was necessary. A few doctors have raised the the move is politically motivated and is not suggested by the doctors. Dec 27, 2012

The Health Bulletin released at 11:00 am on Friday read, "The patient continues to remain in an extremely critical condition. She is still receiving treatment at... Intensive Care Unit. Our medical team's investigations upon her arrival at the hospital yesterday showed that in addition to her prior cardiac arrest, she also had infection of her lungs and abdomen, as well as significant brain injury. The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life. A multi-disciplinary team of specialists has been working tirelessly to treat her since her arrival, and is doing everything possible to stabilise her condition over the next few days. The High Commission of India has been fully supportive in helping the hospital and her family, and ensuring that the best care is made available." Dec 28, 2012

The Mount Elizabeth Hospital said that the gangrape victim has significant brain injury, infection in lungs and abdomen and that she is also suffering from heart problems. Dec 28, 2012

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde dismissed reports that the shifting of the victim to a Singapore hospital was not political and purely taken on doctors' decision. He said that the doctors at Sardarjung Hospital along with doctors of other government hospitals were called before taking the decision. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that there is no political interference and that the shifting was purely a medical decision. Dec 28, 2012

Victim dies

The Delhi gangrape victim has died on 29 December 2012 at 4:45 am at the Singapore hospital after suffering severe organ failure. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the tributes to the victim. He appealed for calm and peace. The woman's family are shattered by the news of her death. The body will be embalmed and then released to the family in the afternoon. The body will be flown back to India later Saturday.

President Pranab Mukherjee, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and several others have condoled the loss.

Protesters heckled Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit when she visited Jantar Mantar to pay homage to the victim. The protesters chanted anti-Delhi government slogans.

Revised anti-rape law

Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, in a controversial tweet suggested that the name of the victim should be revealed. He also suggested that the revised anti-rape law should be named after the girl if their family doesn't have any objections. Reacting to the comment, the family of the victim said it would be an honour if the revised law is named after her. The Congress party has distanced itself from Tharoor's comments, while the BJP said that it would oppose any move to reveal the identity of the victim. Jan 1-2, 2013

Trial

A fast-track court in Saket will hear the case on a day-to-day basis.

The police has framed murder charges against all the six accused. Chargesheet in the case is likely to be filed by January 3, 2013. Dec 29, 2012

The Delhi police are getting ready to file a chargesheet. They are targetting to finish the trial within a month. Jan 1, 2013

The Singapore doctor who has carried out the postmortem of the victim will be included as witness by the Delhi police. The male friend who accompanied the victim on the night of the incident will be the key witness in the case. The main chargesheet will have hundreds of pages of annexures. Forensic evidence from the bus as well as the footage of the CCTV of the male where the victim and her friend watched the movie will also be produced as evidence. Jan 2, 2013

A bone marrow test would be conducted on the youngest accused in the case to verify if he is a minor or not. The Delhi police is gearing up to file the chargesheet and would seek a death penalty for the five accused. The sixth accused is a minor and would be produced before a juvenile justice board if it is proved that he is a minor. Jan 2, 2013

Lawyers at the Saket district court in south Delhi have decided not to represent any of the six accused in the case. The hearings of the case are expected to begin on Thursday. The decision would mean that the government would have to appoint lawyers for the defendants. Jan 2, 2013

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India Altamas Kabir has inaugurates the first of the five fast-track courts that deals with sexual offences in Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the speedy trial should not come at a cost of fair trial. He also suggested that one has to understand the trauma of a rape victim while dealing with cases of sexual offences. Jan 2, 2013

Charge-sheet

On 3 January 2013, the Delhi Police has filed the charge sheet in the Delhi gangrape case before a Duty Magistrate in the Saket district court. The charge-sheet has been filed against Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh. The charge-sheet has 30 pages of operative part and hundreds of pages of annexed documents reconstructing the sequence of events.

Charges including murder, rape, kidnapping, unnatural sex, dacoity, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence were slapped against the accused.

The statements of the victim and her male friend who was attacked in the incident were also attached in the charge-sheet.

Sequence of events as per the statement of the victim and her male friend

  • The victim and her male friend reached the Munirka bus shelter in an auto-rickshaw on December 16
  • They boarded the contract carriage bus
  • Three of the six persons in the bus passed lewd remarks at the victim. An altercation followed between the friend of the victim and the three persons. The male friend has attacked one of the accused. The male friend was attacked with an iron rod.
  • The victim was subsequently dragged to the rear end of the bus and was raped. She resisted the attempt and bit Ram Singh, Vinay and the juvenile delinquent.
  • The accused assaulted her with an iron rod and then dumped her and her male friend near the Mahipalpur flyover.

Other important points mentioned in the charge-sheet

  • The male friend alleged that the accused tried to run the bus over them
  • Driver Ram Singh washed the bus to get rid of evidence. The police however managed to collect blood samples and hair of the victim from the bus.
  • The accused picked up two calls received by the victim's mobile at the time of incident. The accused also robbed her of the mobile phone, ATM card, jewellery and about Rs. 1000 in cash.

Four of the six accused in the case were produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler after the expiry of their 14-day remand. Two of the accused – Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma offered to turn witnesses in the case. However, the police said they are not taking the offer seriously as they have doubts over the reliability of the accused. Two others – Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh sought legal aid in preparing their defense. The magistrate has extended their judicial remand till January 19. Jan 6, 2013

A foreign newspaper has published the name of the victim saying that they have received the consent of the father of the victim. Jan 6, 2013

A section of lawyers created a ruckus in court objecting to a few advocates who came forward to defend the accused or serve as amicus curiae. The Delhi police then filed a petition for holding of the proceedings away from public glare. The court ordered an in-camera proceedings and put a gag reporting on the case by the print and electronic media. Jan 7, 2013

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