- (Photo: Reuters/Amit Dave)
An Indian court found four men guilty in the death of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in New Delhi last year, an act that ignited protests throughout the country.
The four men convicted in the case; Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, will be sentenced Wednesday, the Delhi court said.
Witnesses in the courtroom revealed that the victim's parents were teary eyed as Judge Yogesh Khanna read the verdict, stating the men had been convicted of "committing the murder of a helpless victim."
The father of the victim, whose name has been withheld under Indian law, has called for the four defendants to face the death penalty.
"We have faith in the judiciary. The accused should be hanged," he IBN in an interview that aired earlier this week.
The men, aged between 19 and 28, had pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder, rape and kidnapping. But amid a heavy media and security presence Tuesday, the court convicted them on all counts.
Back in December 2012, the young woman and her friend were traveling on a public bus when six men approached and began beating them with an iron bar and taking turns raping the woman before throwing her out of the bus. To make matters worse, the bus went through several police checkpoints with no one stopping the attack.
The attack set off several rounds protests against the Indian government, which people believe has let rapists and abusers get away with criminal acts for years. Many feel that the atmosphere in India has not done enough to protect women and children from attacks. Protests continue to this day and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has promised that justice will be served and new laws passed.