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Five who raped Danish tourist in New Delhi handed life sentences

Published 10/06/2016

One of the five convicted men in the gang rape is escorted from court by police in New Delhi (AP)
One of the five convicted men in the gang rape is escorted from court by police in New Delhi (AP)

Five men who raped a Danish tourist when she asked for directions in New Delhi have been sentenced to life in prison for the attack that highlighted the plague of sexual violence in India.

Judge Ramesh Kumar announced the court's verdict in the presence of all the convicts in the courtroom. They can appeal.

Police said the 51-year-old woman approached the five men, all homeless, to ask for directions to her hotel near Connaught Place, a popular shopping area in the capital. They took her to a secluded spot and raped her repeatedly at knifepoint.

Violence against women in India has caused increasing alarm since the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old Indian physiotherapy student in New Delhi in 2012.

The judge said the convicts, aged 23 to 30, were guilty of gang rape, kidnapping, wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation.

Dinesh Sharma, the lawyer for the defendants, had sought leniency, saying the convicts came from poor backgrounds.

Police said nine attackers took the victim to a secluded spot, robbed her and raped her repeatedly at knifepoint. One of the convicts was found with the victim's glasses case and 1,000 rupees (£10) in cash.

One of the accused men died during trial in February. Three who were younger than 18 at the time of the attack were handed to the Juvenile Justice Board to remain in custody until they are 18 and reformed.

Public fury over the 2012 rape case led to more stringent laws that doubled prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalised voyeurism and stalking. But many women say daily indignities and abuse continue and the new laws have not made the streets safer.

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