4 Convicted for deadly gang rape in India

New Delhi, Sep 10 (EFE).- A New Delhi court on Tuesday found guilty the four adults charged with last December's case of homicidal rape that sparked an unprecedented debate over the defenselessness of women in India.

Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta could be sentenced to death on the 13 charges for which they have been found guilty, and which include kidnapping, rape, unnatural acts and murder.

"All the accused have been found guilty on all charges," Judge Yogesh Khanna said, acccording to defense attorney V.K. Anand.

The parents of the victim, who had asked for the death penalty for the accused on numerous occasions, listened to the verdict with tears in their eyes, witnesses said.

A fifth person involved in the crime, a minor, was sentenced 10 days ago to three years in prison, in a decision that caused indignation in the victim's family and among members of social groups, who demanded that he be tried as an adult and condemned to death.

A sixth adult defendant committed suicide in jail, according to the official account.

The victim, a student of physiotherapy, was headed home last Dec.16 with a male friend after seeing a film at a New Delhi cinema, when they got on a bus on which she was subsequently raped and tortured by the six men.

She died 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.

The gang rape unleashed a wave of protests and started a widespread debate about the discrimination and sexual abuse suffered by women in India.

Faced with so many protests, the government saw itself forced to modify the law and hand out stiffer penalties for sex crimes, while creating fast-track courts for rape cases, among other measures.

Since last December's horrific attack, charges of sexual abuse in India have made the front pages of the local and international press.

These complaints have hurt foreign tourism in India, according to official figures and tourism companies.