Indian Rape: Victim's Family Demand Hanging

Indian Rape: Victim's Family Demand Hanging

The family of the student who died after being gang-raped in India have called for her killers to be hanged as they spoke out for the first time.

Two days after the woman died from injuries sustained in the horrific attack almost two weeks ago, her brother vowed to seek justice.

"The fight has just begun. We want all the accused hanged and we will fight for that, till the end," he told The Indian Express newspaper.

Six men allegedly lured the 23-year-old on to a bus in Delhi on December 16 and then took it in turns to rape her and assault her with an iron bar.

The student was apparently able to give a statement to police from intensive care but her condition worsened and she died after being transferred to a hospital in Singapore.

Her body was taken back to Delhi and cremated on Sunday morning.

The six accused now face murder charges as an outcry rages in India over the need for harsher punishments for sex crimes and calls for rapists to be executed.

The government has now launched a round-the-clock helpline to help women in distress. A special cell in the Chief Minister's Office has been created to operate the free 181 number.

Away from the national anger, the father of the victim - whose identity has been withheld by police - said the family are battling to absorb her death.

"We are all in shock. Nobody can accept this news. My wife took it the hardest. It is too painful. I have not gone inside her room," he said.

"She was born in this house. Her books, clothes they are all here. It is hard to believe I will never hear her voice again, she will never read books to me in English again."

Unlike most traditional Indian families who only send their sons to fee-paying colleges or universities, her parents had high hopes for her and took out loans to fund her studies.

She was born and brought up in a middle class Delhi neighbourhood after her family moved to the city more than 20 years ago from India's northern Uttar Pradesh state.

Four of the accused, who are all now in custody, live in the Ravi Das Camp - a slum about 11 miles (17km) from the woman's home in southwest Delhi.

Inside the slum, which is home to some 1,200 people eking out a living as rickshaw pullers and tea hawkers, many also want the death penalty to be used.

"The incident has really shocked all of us. I don't know how I will get my children admitted to a school. The incident has earned a bad name to this place," said resident Pooja Kumari.

Girija Shankar, a student, added: "Our heads hang in shame because of the brutal act of these men. They must reap what they have sown."

The other two alleged assailants come from outside Delhi, according to police.

One is married with children and was arrested in his native village in Bihar state and the other, a juvenile, is a runaway from a broken home in Uttar Pradesh.

Charges including murder are due to be made against the six suspects later this week once a post-mortem report and forensic report are received, according to officials.

In India, murder is punishable by death by hanging except in the case of offenders aged below 18 but executions are only occasionally carried out.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving gunman of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was hanged last month but it was the first execution for eight years.

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