Indian Christians divided on death sentence

(UCAN) Social activists and church leaders in India are divided on the death sentence for four men convicted of gang raping a student on a moving bus in New Delhi in 2012.

The Supreme Court on May 5 upheld the original decision by a New Delhi city court in 2013. The court described their crime as “savage lust.”

The four men: Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur were convicted by the court in 2013 of repeatedly raping the 23-year-old victim and assaulting her with an iron pipe and later dumping her at a street corner.

The victim died of her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore where she had been transferred.

Six men were involved in the crime. They were found guilty on 13 counts by the city court including murder, rape and destruction of evidence.

One of them, Ram Singh, died in jail during the trial period. Another convict was a juvenile when he committed the crime and was released in 2015 after serving a brief sentence at a correctional facility.

The intensity of the incident led to an outrage across the country, forcing the federal government to make the law against more rape stringent, changing the maximum punishment from 10 years in jail to the death penalty. [More]