India sentences three to death, 24 to jail for gang rapes
An Indian judge on Friday ordered three men to hang after they were convicted of two gang-rapes, the first death sentences to be handed down for multiple sex attacks since the law was toughened last year.
The men were convicted of raping a photojournalist in Mumbai last year.
But they were also among five men sentenced to life last month for raping another woman in a separate incident in the city.
The trio are the first to be tried and convicted under the tough new law aimed at repeat sexual offenders.
Friday\’s sentences were announced at a court in Mumbai where Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said: "There needs to be zero tolerance for such incidents," the Agence France-Presse news agency reported.
"A loud and clear message needs to be sent to society," she added.
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.
Four men were sentenced to death and a juvenile was sent to a correction facility for three years for the Delhi attack.
24 men jailed for 1996 gang rape
An attorney says one man was sentenced to life and 23 others to varying prison terms for raping a teenager who was kidnapped and held for several weeks in southern India 18 years ago.
Kerala High Court sentenced one man Friday to life imprisonment and the other 23 received various prison terms, ranging from seven to 11 years.
The girl was raped by at least 40 men in various places for 40 days in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Court officials say her rapists included a professor, lawyers, businessmen, and government officials.
While the ordeal happened in 1996, the men received their acquittals in 2005. India\’s top court ordered a retrial last year.
India\’s justice system moves slowly, but a brutal gang rape and murder in New Delhi in December 2012 unleased public anger over the treatment of women and a long-unspoken epidemic of sexual violence. Faster trials were among the changes in the legal system as a result.
Source – Agencies