Friday, April 4, 2014

Mumbai Gang Rape: Death Sentences For India Rapists

Three men convicted of participating in a gang rape of a Mumbai photojournalist last year were sentenced to death on Friday under the strict provisions of a new rape law that have begun to cause unease among some women’s rights advocates.

The death sentences are the first imposed under a law passed last year amid nationwide protests that followed the gang rape and murder in December 2012 of a student on a New Delhi bus

The three men, Mohammed Kasim Sheikh, Salim Ansari and Vijay Jadhav, were convicted of two separate rapes, one of the photojournalist, in August, and another of a call-center worker in July

“It was rape executed in the most gruesome and diabolical manner without showing any mercy,” Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi said during the sentencing.

“They have used the most powerful weapon in their possession — the penis, with which they have caused grievous injuries. There should be zero tolerance towards sexual offenses of this kind.” she said.
Both the victims, an 18-year-old telephone operator and the photojournalist - were attacked last year. Both trials were completed within seven months in a fast-track court.

The 22-year-old photojournalist, an intern with a Mumbai-based magazine, had gone to the Shakti Mills - a former textile mill that now lies abandoned - with a male colleague on a photo assignment when she was attacked. Her colleague was beaten during the assault.

After that case made national headlines, the 18-year-old telephone operator came forward to report that she had been assaulted in the same place a month earlier.

Scrutiny of sexual violence has grown in India ever since the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012.

The case sparked off nationwide protests and forced the Indian authorities to introduce tough new anti-rape laws.

The death sentences are the first imposed under a law passed last year amid nationwide protests that followed the gang rape and murder in December 2012 of a student on a New Delhi bus.