Protests erupt after India gang rape convict released | News | DW | 20.12.2015
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Protests erupt after India gang rape convict released

A man convicted of participating in the rape and murder of a young woman in 2012 has been released, according to police. The move has sparked protests, with the victim's mother saying the government "let us down."

Protesters took to the streets of the Indian capital, New Delhi, on Sunday after the youngest man convicted in the fatal 2012 gang rape of a young Indian woman was released.

"The government and the judicial system let us down. This man, who police said was the most brutal of rapists, will get away with the crime and is even being rehabilitated," the victim's mother told reporters at a protest.

The parents were briefly detained by police after leading a protest rally around the India Gate monument.

Shy of turning 18-years-old when the crime was committed, the man was released Sunday after serving most of his three-year term, the maximum sentence possible under India's Juvenile Justice Act. He will finish the rest of his sentence in a reform home, according to authorities.

"The convict was handed over to an NGO. He is no longer under the jurisdiction of the police," Delhi police spokesman Raan Bhagat said, according to AFP news agency.

"He has been given a new identity and his criminal record has been expunged," added a police source.

In 2012, the man and four others were charged with the brutal rape and murder of a young woman after they lured her and a male companion onto a bus.

The other four men were handed death sentences following confessions to the act. However, they later repealed their confessions, saying they were tortured into admitting their involvement in the act. Their appeals are being heard by the Supreme Court.

The criminal act shocked people in India and across the world and prompted India's government to overhaul legislation for sex crimes, including doubling sentences to 20 years for rapists, and outlawing voyeurism and the stalking and trafficking of women.

ls/tj (AP, AFP, dpa)