NEW DELHI - An Indian court sentenced a teenager to three years in a juvenile detention centre Saturday over the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi, a crime that sparked revulsion and angry protests.
The juveniles' court found the teenager guilty over the brutal assault on the student on a moving bus last December, in the first and long-delayed verdict on the incident that shone a spotlight on India's treatment of women.
The family of the 23-year-old victim reacted with anger and dismay, calling for the teenager to be hanged and reigniting debate about whether India is too lenient on its juvenile offenders.
"It's a crime to be born a girl in India," the victim's father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in angry comments to NDTV outside the court.
"Girls are not safe in India," he added, stressing that the family would continue to fight for a tougher punishment.
His daughter, a physiotherapy student, died of internal injuries two weeks after being raped and assaulted with an iron bar allegedly by six men on the night of December 16. Her male companion was also beaten up before both were thrown bleeding from the bus.
The teenager, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was given the maximum penalty on Saturday after he was tried as a juvenile, and the three years will include the time he has already spent in custody.
"He has been held guilty for rape and murder and sentenced to three years subject to review," Anil Sharma, the chief investigating officer in the case, told reporters outside the court in the capital.
The teenager's conduct will be observed during his time in a special juvenile home, and his sentence reviewed and possibly reduced for good behaviour, his lawyer Rajesh Tiwari told AFP.
The perceived leniency of the sentence sparked further anger in India where the suspects, some of whom have been beaten up in jail, are public hate figures.
Outside the court, up to 20 protesters screamed "Hang the juvenile too" and "We want justice."
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