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Indian gang rape: Five suspects charged

Indian gang rape: Five suspects charged
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In India, five men have been formally charged with the gang-rape, murder and criminal conspiracy of a 23-year-old university student.

The attack – which took place last month on a moving bus in the capital New Delhi – has caused outrage, sparking demands for tough new rape laws.

The victim, a medical student, and her male companion were then beaten with iron bars before being thrown out of the bus.

Police have said the accused have admitted to torturing and raping the student “to teach her a lesson”. She fought back and bit three of them, according to a police source, and the bite marks are part of the evidence against them.

After throwing her from the private bus, the driver tried to run the victim over but she was pulled away by her companion, a senior police official said.

The woman died last week from injuries sustained during the attack, which investigators say took place over nearly an hour.

Police filed charges at a New Delhi court, although the accused were not present. The court will examine the charges on Saturday, duty magistrate Surya Malik Grover said.

“Hang these monsters”

Prosecutors have said they would press for the death penalty for the murder. The father of the victim has said he backed the chorus of calls for those responsible to be executed. “The whole country is demanding that these monsters be hanged. I am with them,” he told reporters in his home village of Mandwara Kalan in Uttar Pradesh state.

Media reports suggest around 30 witnesses have been found and the police report into the case already runs to more than 1,000 pages.

The witnesses include the woman’s friend who survived the hour-long attack and a man who said he was robbed by the same gang prior to the rape.

There have been daily protests in several Indian cities since the attack. The latest was called by Delhi’s Chief Minister. She has responded to demands to bring women’s rights to the forefront of Indian politics, where sexual violence is widespread and little is done to prosecute offenders.