India rape accused wanted to find a victim to kill: police
By Frank Jack Daniel ,ReutersNEW DELHI -- The gang of men charged with the rape and murder of an Indian physiotherapy student deliberately tried to find a woman to rape and kill and ended the night with blood on their clothes, a police report seen by Reuters said.
January 12, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Five men, along with a teenager who says he is under 18, gathered for dinner at a dwelling in a south Delhi slum on the evening of Dec. 16 and there hatched the plot to find a target, according to the dossier given to court by the prosecution.
The accused “decided ahead of time” they would look for a woman and “intended to kill her,” the police report claims.
The file, which runs to more than 600 pages contains the prosecution's evidence in the case, which it describes as including forensic evidence against the men, along with confessions, witness statements and medical reports.
However, defense lawyers assigned by the court on Thursday said the prosecution's case is marred by lapses in the investigation, not least the long period during which their clients were without legal representation. The defense has not yet filed its reply to the prosecution's dossier.
The court hearing the case took cognizance of the police document, known as a charge sheet, on Saturday. Under Indian law once a court takes cognizance of a charge sheet it becomes public record.
The gang boarded a bus that the alleged gang leader, Ram Singh, drove by day to ferry children to school and went out in search of a victim. They found the student accompanied by a male friend who were looking for transport home after watching the movie “Life of Pi” at a South Delhi shopping mall, according to the report submitted to the court.
Police arrested Singh the next day after tracing the bus using security camera footage from a hotel. He was still wearing a T-shirt stained with the victim's blood and “on sustained interrogation” confessed and led the police to his accomplices, the police report said.
The other accused are Singh's brother Mukesh, Akshay Kumar Singh, alias Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma, all of whom are expected to plead not guilty when the trial begins. Mukesh Singh claims he was tortured while in police custody, his lawyer said on Thursday.
A sixth member of the gang, a teenager, is being processed as a juvenile, has not so far been charged and will be tried separately. Police have said they are conducting bone tests to determine his age as they suspect he may be over 18 years old.