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Suspects in New Delhi gang rape case to appear in court Monday

By CNN Staff

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) — The men accused in the gang rape and killing of an Indian woman have been summoned to appear in court Monday to hear charges against them, authorities said Saturday.

The fatal attack of the 23-year-old woman last month in New Delhi prompted protests over the country’s treatment of women and handling of sexual attacks. It also stirred worldwide outrage.

The suspects will appear in a so-called “fast-track” court in a southern New Delhi district, a Metropolitan Magistrates’ Court said, according to CNN’s sister network, CNN-IBN.

Fast-track courts expedite cases in a court system bogged down by red tape.

Five men were charged Thursday in a New Delhi court with murder, rape and kidnapping.

Authorities were waiting for the outcome of a bone marrow test before deciding whether a sixth suspect in the attack will be charged as a juvenile or an adult.

The trial will begin as soon as all of the evidence is gathered, said Suman Nalwa, deputy police commissioner of a unit for women and children.

The case appears to have prompted changes in New Delhi law enforcement.

India’s interior minister has ordered the city’s police stations to increase the number of women officers to facilitate the handling of complaints from women.

Interior Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Friday that each police station in Delhi should have 10 women constables and two women subinspectors.

“We will be posting these women very soon, according to this order, by diverting staff from other places and making them available in Delhi,” police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said. At present, women comprise 7% of police forces, he said.

Candidates will be recruited within four months, and training will take an additional nine months, he said.

Bhagat denied that the directive was issued solely because of the rape, but said it is aimed at helping women.

“We need overall more women in the police station as other women feel more comfortable with female officers,” he said. “If all women complaints are attended to promptly, situations like that of the gang-raped medical student may have been avoided.”

The interior minister said he is working with security officials to strengthen laws regarding rape and assault.

In the state of Haryana, about 80 miles northwest of Delhi, officials plan to publicize the profiles of rapists. The state will publish the names, addresses and case numbers of convicted rapists on a website.

“In doing so, we hope to curb crime against women,” said Laik Ram Dabbas, director of the state crime records bureau.

The website could be active this month, Dabbas said.

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