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New Delhi gang-rape: Five men charged

New Delhi gang-rape: Five men charged
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In India, five of the six men alleged to have gang-raped a 23-year old university student have been formally charged with her murder.

Police filed papers at a court in New Delhi although none of the men were present for the hearing.

The sixth accused is under 18 and is set to be tried separately in a juvenile court.

The violent attack – which took place last month on a moving bus in the capital New Delhi – has caused outrage.

Protests continued on Thursday calling for severe punishment for the perpetrators. The Indian Bar Association said because of the nature of the crime, its lawyers would not defend the suspects. The court is expected to assign a defence lawyer for the men.

Lawyer Dharmendra Kumar Mishra said: “We are just saying ‘Why should such an incident happen?’ Why should the police be filing such a case, because each time, their role should be to stop such things from happening, rather than filing charge sheets.”

After the gang-rape, which police say lasted nearly an hour, the victim and her male companion were beaten with iron bars before being thrown from the bus.

The woman died last week from injuries sustained during the attack.

Her father has called for those responsible for his daughter’s death 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.

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, a police source told Reuters, 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, according to a senior police official.

Police have prepared a dossier of evidence and charges against the accused, which is believed to run to 1,000 pages, including testimony from the woman’s friend who survived the attack and a man who said he was robbed by the same gang prior to the rape.