The father of the 23-year-old woman whose gang-rape and death sparked public outrage against the government has demanded that those responsible be hanged and he called for new legislation on sex crimes to be named in honour of his daughter.
The December 16 attack on the physiotherapy student and a male companion provoked furious protests close to the seat of government in New Delhi and has fuelled a nationwide debate about the prevalence of sexual crimes in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes.
The woman died of her injuries in a hospital in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment, on Saturday.
Five men and a teenager have been arrested in connection with the attack. The five men were due to be formally charged on Thursday.
Murder carries the death penalty in India. The father of the woman said he backed the chorus of calls for those responsible to be executed.
“The whole country is demanding that these monsters be hanged. I am with them,” the father told reporters in his home village of Mandwara Kalan in Uttar Pradesh.
The woman has not been identified and nor have members of her family, in accordance with Indian law.
The father said he was demanding a change in the law to allow for the execution of juveniles. One of the six accused has been reported to be under the age of 18.
The studious, ambitious young woman was determined to improve life in her village, the father said. “She said papa, the place of your birth is very backward, if I become a doctor, I will first improve life in the village,” the father said.
Days of protests in New Delhi and other cities followed the attack. Many of the protesters have been students, infuriated by what they see as the failure of the government to protect women.
The case against the five accused is due to be processed by a new, fast-track chamber set up in response to the crime.
The teenager is due to be tried in a juvenile court. Hanging is only allowed in the “rarest of rare” cases under the Indian law.
It was used for the first time in eight years in November when the lone surviving gunman from a 2008 militant attack on Mumbai, Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, was executed.