5 Apr 2014

India sentences death for multiple rapes

12:48 pm on 5 April 2014

An Indian judge has ordered three men to be hanged after they were convicted of two gang-rapes, the first death sentences to be handed down for multiple sex attacks since the law was toughened last year.

The sentences were announced at a court in Mumbai for the two attacks in July and August last year at the same abandoned mill compound in the city, including an attack on a photographer that made global headlines.

Mohammed Salim Ansari being taken to court in Mumbai.

Mohammed Salim Ansari being taken to court in Mumbai. Photo: AFP

Mohammed Salim Ansari, 28, Vijay Mohan Jadhav, 19, and 21-year-old Mohammed Kasim Hafeez Shaikh were convicted last month after a fast-track trial.

They were subsequently handed life sentences for one of those assaults, the gang-rape of an 18-year-old phone operator. The men were also among five sentenced to life last month for raping another woman in a separate incident in the city.

The three were convicted this week under a new section of the law for being repeat rape offenders, which carries the death penalty, AFP reports.

"There needs to be zero tolerance for such incidents," Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said as she announced the sentences.

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam confirmed to AFP that this was the first such conviction under the modified law.