Indian Gang Rape: Four Men Sentenced to Death

2:36 AM PST 09/13/2013 by Patrick Brzeski
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Outrage and street protests swept India last year in the wake of the horrific incident.

The judgement brings the case of the brutal rape and murder of a young medical student to a conclusion, after widespread street protests and outcry from Bollywood stars over the treatment of women in Indian society.

An Indian court on Friday sentenced four men to death for the rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi last year.

On Tuesday, the court convicted the four men -- Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh -- of murder, rape and kidnapping. India had since been holding its breath, awaiting news of their fate.

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As the judge presiding over the case, Yogesh Khanna, read out that the four perpetrators should be hanged for their crimes, one of them let out a desperate cry, while defense lawyer A.P. Singh shouted, according to the Wall Street Journal, "This is highly unfair. You have acted under political pressure."

The family of the victim and various public figures had been calling for a death sentence. 

Last December, the four men lured the 23-year-old medical student and her male friend aboard a bus traveling through New Delhi. They proceeded to beat the friend and repeatedly gang-rape and assault the woman with a metal rod, causing injuries that led to her death several days later in a Singaporean hospital.

The case sent shock waves through Indian society, setting off street demonstrations and outcry from public figures and leading Bollywood stars, who sent a collective message of outrage over what they say is a historic pattern of violence and habitual sexual abuse towards women in the country.

Two other men took part in the episode. One hanged himself while in prison -- although his family and friends allege he was murdered -- and the other, now 18-years-old, was a juvenile at the time of the attack and will serve the maximum sentence of three years in a reform institution.

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