Outrage over India gang-rape sentence

Outrage over India gang-rape sentence
A demonstrator holds a placard during a protest against the verdict of a teenager, who was sentenced to three years in juvenile detention.

NEW DELHI - In the first verdict in the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student that shocked the country into toughening its rape laws, a teenager has been sentenced to three years in a reform home, sparking new outrage.

Defence lawyer Rajesh Tiwari said that the 18-year-old, who was 17 at the time of the crime, had received the maximum sentence for his role in the crime.

That includes the eight months he has already spent in custody.

The victim's family was in the juvenile court when the long-awaited verdict was delivered. The court was closed to the media, but journalists packed the narrow lane outside.

Upon hearing the sentence, a small group of protesters who felt it was too light broke into angry chants of "We want justice, we want justice... hang him".

The victim's parents expressed shock.

"What was the point of this? It was better to just let him off now," said the father of the victim, brushing tears from his eyes. "I want justice. Where will I go?"

The victim's mother said the crime warranted a harsher punishment. "I request the law to treat it as a special case," she said. "He destroyed a life."

Mr Vikas Tyagi, 29, was outside the court wearing a black band around his head.

"We want the world to know that the protests are still on," he said. "We want justice and we want to tell the family that we stand with them."

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