Despite the ongoing and controversial efforts of their lawyers to paint the alleged attackers as victims, it looks like swift justice will hammer down on the men accused of gang-raping a woman on a bus in New Delhi — and there's already been a prison fight. After a judge moved the trial to "fast track court," the Tribune of India reports that proceedings could begin as soon as Monday, with the International Business Times adding that five of the six suspects are expected to plead not guilty. (The sixth is being tried as a minor.) Not that any of the fast-tracking will stop their attorneys, who are trying to put off the hearings: "V.K. Anand, a lawyer for one of the defendants, said Thursday that he would petition the Supreme Court to have the rape trial moved out of New Delhi because he doesn't believe his client could get a fair hearing in the capital," reports the AP.
A second defense attorney is now pushing claims that police and fellow inmates are beating their clients to a pulp: "AP Singh told reporters that his client Vinay Sharma, a gym instructor accused of the murder and rape of the 23-year-old woman on a moving bus last month, was in agony during a court appearance on Thursday," the Associated Foreign Press reports. Singh's account comes on the heels of a third counsel for the five accused men, Manohar Lal Sharma, telling reporters a week ago that police had tortured his three clients.
The lawyers have stuck to this narrative, continuing to float claims of mistreatment, insisting that nobody likes their five clients. And, well, they're right. People from all over the world have been drawn to this case after the massive and ongoing protests in the aftermath of the attack on Jyoti Singh Pandey and her ensuing death. Protestors are rallying against the men by name as word spreads that Pandey wrote down four names of her alleged attackers while in the hospital, seeking justice:
She scribbled down four names in the presence of a magistrate at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, where she had been admitted before being flown to Singapore for further treatment which ultimately failed.
The names she wrote were Ram Singh, Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay. The four are accused of abduction, rape and murder together with Pawan Gupta and a sixth man who claims to be a minor.