India’s top court has upheld the death penalty for three men over the notorious 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman in India.
Physiotherapy student Jyoti Singh, 23, was raped and left for dead by a gang of five men and a teenager on a bus in Saket, South Delhi, in December 2012.
She was on her way home from the cinema with a male friend when the gang beat him unconscious and tortured her with an iron bar as the private bus drove around the Indian capital.
Ms Singh was dumped on the streets 45 minutes later and died from her internal injuries 13 days after the attack in a Singapore hospital.
In September 2013, four of the men were convicted of murder, gang-rape, theft, conspiracy and “unnatural acts” following a seven-month trial.
All convicts maintain their innocence, but only three of them were involved in the appeal rejected by India’s Supreme Court on Monday.
Her parents welcomed the ruling, with her mother Asha Singh saying it was “very happy news”.
“It’s a great message for the entire society. This verdict is meant for society, women and all of us,” father Badrinath Singh added.
A fifth man – the suspected ringleader – was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide, while a 17-year-old was sentenced to three years in a detention centre and has since been released.
The brutal attack – along with Ms Singh’s determination to survive long enough to identify her attackers – sparked angry demonstrations by thousands of people in Delhi and across the world.
The case put the treatment of women in India in the global spotlight and led to heavier sentences for sex crimes.
A panel entrusted with reviewing legislation boosted the jail terms to 20 years for rape despite rejecting public appeals for the death penalty.
In 2016, there were some 40,000 rapes reported in India, according to the most recent official figures available.
A string of recent sex attacks, mostly of children, have triggered further outrage and protests.
This included the attack of an eight-year-old girl from the northern Jammu region who died after being kidnapped, drugged and gang-raped by several men for days at a Hindu temple.
The case led to the introduction of the death sentence for raping girls under 12.