One of India's most inflamatory criminal cases of recent memory went to trial Monday in a Delhi court. The six suspects – who allegedly gang-raped and brutally assaulted a young woman in a moving bus on Dec. 16 leading to the victim's eventual death – were brought to court under heavy police security.
In a courtroom thick with anticipation of the first public appearance of the accused since the shocking crime, heated arguments began even before the trial could get underway as lawyers sought to persuade other lawyers against defending the accused.
While the next hearing was adjourned for Jan. 10, given the chaotic situation, the court passed a gag order banning any media coverage of the proceedings.
“It shall not be lawful to print or publish any matter or content in this case, except with the permission of this court,” Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said in her order, adding: “An unprecedented situation arises when members of the bar and public persons not connected with the case started converging the courtroom which has become jam-packed with lots of disturbance created from different nooks and corners.”
Media reports said that also present in court were a large group of women lawyers sporting a red ribbon on their black gowns, expressing solidarity with the victim and seeking speedy justice.