India Gang Rape: Authorities Formally Charge Five Men With Rape, Murder

New Delhi, India – Indian authorities have formally charged five men with the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old university student on a New Delhi bus.

Police said that they are planning to seek the death penalty, and government officials promised that they would put new measures in place to protect women.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the five men being charged are 33-year-old Ram Singh, the bus driver and his brother, 26-year-old Mukesh Singh; 19-year-old Pavan Gupta; 24-year-old Akshay Singh; and 20-year-old Vinay Sharma. The men did not appear in court when the charges were filed against them.

A 17-year-old suspect is expected to be tried in juvenile court. The maximum sentence would be three years in a reform facility.

The victim, a medical student, had been taken to a hospital in Singapore to be treated for injuries and infections. She died Saturday. According to the Washington Post, her name has not been released in according with Indian law that prohibits the naming of sexual assault victims.

Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said the judicial system would have to move quickly and efficiently to keep citizens from attempting vigilante justice.

“People’s reaction has been … ‘Do not send the accused to trial. Hand them over to us, we will deal with them. Hang them,” Kabir said. “But let us not get carried away.”

As we have previously reported, the victim was cremated after her funeral in a private ceremony. Her rape and death have sparked worldwide outrage, and protests have been held in the streets of New Delhi.

The victim’s father told the Economic Times Wednesday that he wanted the government to name an anti-rape law after his daughter.

“I have no objection if the new anti-rape law is named after her,” he said. “That would be an honor … for that purpose the name can be made public. Otherwise, there is no point.”

The father also said that the juvenile suspect should not be treated differently because of his age.

“The juvenile should be punished first … he was the one who lured my daughter into the bus and tortured her most mercilessly. He should be hanged like the other five accused.”

The father added, “Imagine his brutality when he is 17 … what a demon he would become once he is older? The government should reduce the juvenile age to 12 or 15 years.”