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Sunday September 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 15, 2013 MYT 6:41:53 AM
NEW DELHI: Indian rights groups voiced dismay over death sentences handed to four men for a fatal gang rape, saying it was unlikely to reverse the country’s “rape crisis” despite a clamour for their execution.
After a seven-month fast-track trial, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the four men should be “hanged by the neck til they are dead” for the brutal rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus last December.
After the sentencing, people distributed sweets on the street in celebration and tweeted that “justice” had been served.
But yesterday, rights network Avaaz slammed the verdict, urging the government instead to launch a mass public education campaign to stop India’s “rape epidemic”.
“Executing these men won’t bring back the woman they raped or reverse India’s rape crisis. The only way to stop rape before it starts is with a massive public education campaign,” the online activist network said.
Indian newspapers splashed the sentencing on their front pages along with mug shots of the four convicts whose crime shocked the nation and triggered weeks of street protests.
“Showed no mercy, got no mercy” screamed a banner headline in the English language Hindustan Times while the Times of India said “Death for four for dastardly, diabolical, brutal crime”.
In the lead-up to the sentencing, there had been a huge clamour for the four – Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, and Mukesh Singh – to be executed for their attack on the physiotherapy student and her male companion on Dec 16.
In handing out the sentence, judge Khanna said the crime fell into the “rarest of rare category” that justified capital punishment under India’s legal system. — AFP
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