Trial in India gang rape case begins in New Delhi

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NEW DELHI — The trial of five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus began in a closed courtroom today with opening arguments by the prosecution lawyers in a special fast-track court set up just weeks ago to handle sexual assault cases.

A sixth suspect in the case has claimed he is a juvenile and is expected to be tried in a juvenile court.

The brutal attack last month set off protests across India and opened a national debate about the epidemic of violence against women.

Details of the day’s proceedings were not available. The courtroom was closed to the public and the media — routine in Indian rape cases — even though defense lawyers had argued that since the victim is dead, the proceedings should be opened. There was also a gag order on the lawyers to not reveal what happened inside the court.

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