Six charged with murder in India gang rape after woman dies

 India gang rape: Indians light candles as they mourn the death of a gang-rape victim in New Delhi, Saturday. IMAGE
by Ashok Sharma, Associated Press, 29 December, 2012

NEW DELHI — Indian police have charged six men with murder, adding to accusations that they beat and gang raped a woman on a New Delhi bus two weeks ago in a case that shocked the country.

The murder charges were laid Saturday, hours after the woman died in a Singapore hospital, where she had been flown for treatment.

New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said the six face the death penalty if convicted, in a case that has triggered protests across India for greater protection for women from sexual violence, and raised questions about lax attitudes by police toward sexual crimes.

The tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, forcing them to keep quiet and discouraging them from reporting it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous enough to report the rapes, and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years. Continue reading