A fast-track court in New Delhi has begun the trial of five men accused of the rape and murder on a bus of a 23 year-old physiotherapy student in December. A sixth suspect will be tried in a juvenile court.
The case has come to court in rapid time considering India’s sclerotic legal system, such was the wave of public and international revulsion at the violence of the assault.
Protesters outside were keen to see that justice is done.
“We are saying basically no outfit is an invitation for rape, and this is the sort of culture that we have to change – the attitude towards women. And that’s why we need the government to commit a concrete, a concrete step which is a public education campaign,” said the organiser of the Avaaz.org protest, Pascal Vollenweider.
One of the accused is attempting to get the trial moved from the capital as he claims the atmosphere is so hostile a fair process is impossible.
The street protests following the attack were of a rare intensity, and many are striving to ensure this is a watershed moment for Indian women.
The accused are to made examples of say their lawyers, despite what they claim is tainted DNA evidence and police torture to obtain confessions.