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Indian father of rape victim bares all: 'Her name was Jyoti'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 7th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

After a period of great secrecy, essential details in a 23-year-old Indian woman's brutal rape and murder have finally come to light. "Her name was Jyoti. I am proud of her," her father Badri Singh Pandey said on national television. Medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey died from her injuries 13 agonizing days after her attack on a speeding New Delhi bus. India and the world are demanding that the six suspects involved in her gang rape be brought to justice.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks," Pandey declared. "They will find strength from my daughter."

Pandey spoke from his ancestral village of Billia in Uttar Pradesh, a state in the north of India, where the family has gone to grieve.

He has no desire to see what his daughter's look like. He wants just to see them punished and hanged. "Death to all six of them," he said. "These men are beasts.

"They should be made an example of and that society will not allow such things to happen."

His daughter died on December 29 in a specialist hospital in Singapore after she struggled to survive her injuries -- so grievous that her intestines had to be removed.

Undergoing three major surgeries, including one to remove her intestines, she suffered a cardiac arrest in India before being flown to Singapore for treatment.

Pandey told how his daughter, despite her ordeal, wanted to go on living. As she drifted in and out of consciousness in her hospital bed, she was able to communicate with her family through written notes.

"She had a feeding pipe in her mouth making it difficult for her to speak," he said. "But she did write on some paper that she wanted to live, she wanted to survive and stay with us.

"But it was fate that had the last say in the end."

Her identity was revealed as two of her six suspected rapists today begged a court to allow them to turn witness for the prosecution in a desperate bid to escape punishment.

Five men and a 17-year-old boy have been formally charged over the rape and murder after DNA tests linked them to the crime.

According to India Today, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma made their plea to turn witness as they appeared before magistrate Jyoti Kler to have their remand extended until January 19.

"Accused Pawan and Vinay have been directed to move an appropriate application to become witnesses in the case before the court concerned," the magistrate said in an order dictated to the court room after the accused were sent back to jail.

It is a common practice in India, where investigators have difficulty finding evidence that suspects are asked to give crucial evidence in return for a lighter sentence.

Legal experts say that in the case of such a heinous crime, it is unlikely that they will be granted the opportunity to lessen any potential punishment.

Two other suspects, Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, pleaded for legal aid to help with their defense, and the fifth is not due before court until tomorrow. The sixth accused - a minor - will have his case heard by a Juvenile Justice Board.

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