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POLICE are expected to formally charge five of six suspects with murder over the death of 23-year-old woman gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, India.
The sixth suspect is under 18 and a juvenile, but a police officer said a bone test had been ordered to confirm his age.
Under Indian law, a juvenile cannot be prosecuted for murder.
New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said that a charge sheet on the case would be filed in court on Thursday. The physiotherapy student died in a Singapore hospital where she had been sent for emergency treatment after the crime in India's capital on December 16.
The attack set off an impassioned debate about what the country needed to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
Protesters and politicians have called for tougher rape laws, major police reforms and a transformation in the way the nation treats its women.
India's army and navy scrapped their New Year's celebrations, as did Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party. Hotels and clubs across the capital also said they would forego their usual parties.
"She has become the daughter of the nation," said Sushma Swaraj, leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
Hundreds of mourners continued their daily protests near parliament demanding swift government action.
"So much needs to be done to end the oppression of women," said Murarinath Kushwaha, whose two friends were on a hunger strike to draw attention to the issue.
Some commentators compared the rape victim, whose name was not released by police, to Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose selfimmolation set off the Arab Spring. There was hope her tragedy could mark a turning point for gender rights in a country where women often refuse to leave their homes at night out of fear and where sex selective abortions and even female infanticide have wildly skewed the gender ratios. …