The four men convicted of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi were brought to court today where their sentence could be announced.
"We are innocent," they shouted to the legion of reporters while they were being escorted into the small and packed court-room by a large ring of security. The mother of the student they killed said this morning that they must hang. "They have shown no remorse," she said.
The barbarous attack, committed in December on a moving bus, tore into India, forcing street protests, new laws for sex offences, and a national debate on the safety of women.
In his verdict yesterday, delivered after a nine-month trial, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the men had murdered "a helpless victim."
Defence lawyers have said they will appeal in a higher court.
Bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, gym instructor Vinay Sharma, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta, and unemployed Mukesh Singh were found guilty of luring the woman and a male friend onto the off-duty school bus on the night of December 16 as the pair returned home from watching a movie at a mall.
As the bus drove through the streets of the capital, the men repeatedly raped and violated the victim with a metal bar before dumping her and her friend, naked and semi-conscious, on the road. She died in a Singapore hospital two weeks later of internal injuries.
Diagramming the horrors of her ordeal, the judge highlighted that the student had "18 internal injuries" and that the men had brought iron rods with them with the clear intent to kill her.