Suspects in gang-rape case charged with murder: Police
NEW DELHI - The Delhi police filed murder charges against the six men accused of the brutal gangrape of the 23-year old medical student who passed away in a Singapore hospital.
"They have been charged (with murder)," said Rajan Bhagat, a spokesman for New Delhi police.
The six men come from poor backgrounds with four of them living in a slum colony in southern Delhi.
One is a school bus driver, called "Mental" by friends because of his volatile temper. Another is a bus conductor. Others in the group include a vegetable vendor, a gym instructor and a 17-year old who worked as a helper on long distance buses.
Ram Singh, the 33-year old bus driver who was a school dropout is the main accused in the case with the police saying that he was the leader of the group.
On the night of December 16, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh 26, and four others -- vegetable vendor Pawan Gupta, 19, gym instructor Vinay Sharma, 20, bus cleaner Akshay Thakur, 28, and the 17 year old minor -- had been drinking and decided to take the bus, which had tinted windows and curtains, for a joyride.
They first robbed a man of of his money and then picked up the 23-year old girl and her male friend, charging them Rs 20 for two tickets, the police said.
They took turns to rape the girl and beat up her male companion.
The police said to avoid detection they stripped the girl and her friend of their clothes before dumping them on the side of a road on a cold winter night.
After the crime, four suspects (Ram Singh, his brother, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta) went back to their homes and families in the south Delhi slum and were arrested 48 hours after the crime while two others fled the city were captured by the police from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Hari Ram Sharma, the father of Vinay told television channels that his son should be punished if he was guilty.
"If my son has done it, the harshest of punishment should be given to him, otherwise he should be let off," he said.
The maximum punishment for murder is the death penalty.