India executes four men for brutal 2012 Delhi bus rape

By Reuters

It was a horrendous rape case that shocked the world - six men in India brutally tortured and raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus in New Delhi in 2012.

On Friday four of the men were hanged after they were convicted for rape and murder.

The victim was dubbed the Nirbhaya - the fearless one - left on the roadside to die she clung on determined to tell her ordeal, fight for her life and catch the perpetrators.

She died two weeks later, but her case ignited a firestorm of protests.

Her mother, Asha Devi, spoke to reporters outside the prison.

Her words: "This is the first time that a girl in this country who was raped has (finally) received justice. Today is March 20th and it is dedicated to all our daughters and women because today Nirbhaya got justice and all the daughters of the country got justice. I thank everyone for this."

As for the other two perpetrators; one, who 17 at the time, was released after serving three years in a reform facility - the maximum term possible for a juvenile in India.

And one suspect was found dead in his cell having apparently taken his own life.

The crime has shamed the country for its appalling record for crimes against women.

But does the sentence bring closure?

Outrage over her death led to India passing tough new laws against sexual violence including the death penalty for rape in some cases.

But crime statistics point to a situation that has grown worse.

Since 2012, reported rape cases climbed 60 percent to around 40,000 in 2016, with child rape accounting for about 40 percent of them.

Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal says there are still major shortcomings in the judicial system.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) DELHI CHIEF MINISTER, ARVIND KEJRIWAL, SAYING:

"There are a lot of flaws in our system, a lot. These flaws encourage criminals and they feel that they can get away with anything, as justice will keep delaying.

The country also faces a backlog of rape cases that remain open - still pending investigation.

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