NEW DELHI Five men were formally charged in court on Thursday with the gang rape and murder of an Indian physiotherapy student, in a case that has generated widespread anger about the government's inability to prevent violence against women.
The December 16 attack on the 23-year-old physiotherapy student and a male companion provoked furious protests close to the seat of government in New Delhi and has fuelled a nationwide debate about the prevalence of sexual crimes in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.
The five men are accused of assaulting the 23-year-old on a bus in New Delhi, leaving her with such severe injuries that she died two weeks later, in hospital in Singapore, where she was taken for treatment.
A sixth accused is under 18 and is due to be tried separately in a juvenile court.
(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Annie Banerji; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Robert Birsel)