TIMELINE - Key events in the Delhi gang rape case

by Nita Bhalla | @nitabhalla | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:15 GMT

A student prays during a vigil for a gang rape victim, who was assaulted in New Delhi, in Ahmedabad, December 31, 2012. The gang rape and murder of a medical student caught Indian authorities and political parties flat-footed, slow to see that the assault on a bus had come to symbolise an epidemic of crimes against women. REUTERS/Amit Dave

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NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student by five men and a teenager on a Delhi bus in December shook India’s collective conscience, triggering unprecedented public protests over women's safety and shining a global spotlight on violence against women in the patriarchal country.

One of the accused has since committed suicide in prison and a teenager has been sentenced to three years in a correctional home. A special fast-track court will announce its verdict on the four co-accused on Tuesday.

Below is a timeline of key events in the case:

Dec. 16, 2012 - A 23-year-old trainee physiotherapy student returning from the cinema with a male friend boards a bus in south Delhi, where she is beaten, raped and tortured with an iron rod by six assailants for almost an hour before they are both stripped and dumped by the side of a road.

Dec. 17, 2012 - Protests by women's rights activists and students erupt across Delhi over inaction by the police to find the six assailants as the victim lies in intensive care in a New Delhi hospital suffering from severe internal injuries.

Dec. 18 - 23, 2012 - Indian police arrest six men in connection with the crime, but public protests involving thousands of people spread from the capital to other cities such as Bangalore, Kolkata and Guwahati. Police use tear gas, water cannons and batons to block crowds of people from marching on the president's palace in New Delhi.

Dec. 24, 2012 - The Indian authorities seek to stop protests in the centre of the capital, shutting roads and metro stations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeals for calm and assures the public that all possible efforts to ensure the security and safety of women will be taken.

Dec. 27, 2012 - The government airlifts the victim from Delhi to a Singapore hospital.

Dec. 28, 2012 - The victim's condition deteriorates in a Singapore hospital as doctors announce that her vital organs have failed, adding that she has "significant brain injury".

Dec 29, 2012 - The victim dies in a Singapore hospital. Small protests erupt in Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says he is deeply saddened and pledges action.

Dec 30, 2012 - The victim’s body is brought back to Delhi and cremated in a private ceremony. Protests continue in Delhi but on a much smaller scale.

Jan 3, 2013 - The five adults are formally charged with murder and rape as well as with a slew of other charges including conspiracy and illegal confinement. The father of the victim calls for the accused to be hanged.

Jan 23, 2013 - A panel headed by Justice J.S. Verma and set up in response to the public outcry delivers its recommendations on how to tackle gender violence. The 630-page report is described as "path-breaking" by activists. It calls for marital rape to be made a crime and for sweeping police reforms.

Jan 28, 2013 - A special panel rules that the teenager accused in the case should be tried as a juvenile in a separate court.

Feb 5, 2013 - The trial of the five adults accused begins in a special fast-track court. The five men plead not guilty.

March 6, 2013 - The trial of the teenager begins. He pleads not guilty before the juvenile justice board, which is charged with hearing his case.

March 11, 2013 - The man police say was the ringleader – the driver of the bus – is found dead in his prison cell. The police say he committed suicide by hanging himself.

March 21, 2013 - India approves a tougher anti-rape law to punish sex crimes, including the death sentence for repeat rape offenders as well as a measure to criminalise voyeurism and stalking. It also makes acid attacks and human trafficking specific offences.

May 2, 2013 - Rashida Manjoo, the U.N. special rapporteur on violence, visits India, criticises the new "anti-rape" law saying that it fails to address the root causes and consequences of gender abuse.

Aug 31, 2013 - The teenager accused is found guilty of rape and murder and is sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention home, sparking debate over whether India is too soft on young offenders.

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