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Photo: AFP

The trial in the brutal gangrape and murder case of the 23-year-old para medical student began on Tuesday after the Delhi Police filed post-mortem and forensic reports with a supplementary chargesheet.

On February 2 the fast-track court in Saket had framed charges against the five accused in the case. The five accused had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges that were read out to them. If convicted, they could face the death penalty. The sixth being a minor will be tried under juvenile laws. On Tuesday, four prosecution witnesses will appear and depose before the court. There are a total of 86 witnesses who have to be examined.

The prosecution hopes to complete examininbg the witnesses within a month. The list of witnesses include the Delhi braveheart's 28-year-old friend who was with her on the bus where the gruesome crime was committed and also people present along the route of the bus, police officials and doctors who treated the girl.

The five accused have been charged under 13 sections of the Indian Penal Code. The charges framed against the accused include gangrape, murder and destruction of evidence. The charges levelled against 5 accused include - IPC Sec 302 (murder), IPC Sec 376 (gangrape), IPC Sec 377 (unnatural offence), IPC Sec 201 (destruction of evidence), IPC Sec 307 (attempt to murder), IPC Sec 365 (kidnapping or abduction), IPC Sec 396 (dacoity with murder), IPC Sec 34 (common intention), IPC Sec 394 (voluntarily causing hurt), IPC Sec 395 (dacoity) and IPC Sec 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

The 23-year-old braveheart's recorded testimony along with the statements of her friend will also be crucial.

All the five men and the 17-year-old juvenile, who is in an observation home, are charged with raping the physiotherapy intern in the bus and also thrashing her male friend. Ram Singh, Pawan, Vinay and Mukesh were arrested within two days of the crime. Akshay and the juvenile were caught December 21. Mukesh is Ram Singh's younger brother. During a court hearing, Vinay, a gym instructor, told the judge he was not involved in the sexual assault but asked that he should be hanged.

The two victims boarded the bus, which was plying illegally, at Munirka in south Delhi on a cold December 16 night. They were also robbed, stripped and thrown out of the bus some 40 minutes later. The incident sparked off outrage in India, with protesters demanding the death penalty for the accused and changes in rape laws. The victim died on December 29 in Singapore and was laid to rest in the national capital the next day.

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