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Indian Gang Rapists 'Tried To Run Over Victim'
A gang of rapists who assaulted and murdered a woman on a bus in New Delhi tried to run her over afterwards, according to reports.
The woman's boyfriend, who was beaten up and thrown off the bus after she had been repeatedly raped, managed to pull her to safety just in time, police will allege in court on Thursday.
The claims have been made by newspapers in India which say they have seen extracts of the 1,000-page charge sheet.
The 23-year-old medical student, whose ordeal triggered widespread protests about sex crime in India, bit three of her attackers as she attempted to fight them off, the papers claim.
The suspects' injuries, forensic evidence including blood, semen and hair samples and the testimony of the injured boyfriend are expected to form the main evidence against the accused.
Five men have been arrested and will formally face murder and rape charges on Thursday in a fast-track court set up to try them.
A sixth suspect is aged 17 and is expected to be tried in a court for juveniles.
"The woman and her friend were stripped and thrown out of the bus," The Indian Express reported. "Her friend pulled her away when he saw the bus reversing to run her over."
The Times of India newspaper said one of the charges against the accused relates to the destruction of evidence, since the driver had tried to wash the bus and burned the clothes that were snatched from the victim.
The woman died at the weekend after a 13-day struggle to keep her alive in which she underwent three major operations and suffered a cardiac arrest.
Lawyers have refused to defend the men accused of the attack.
"We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case," said Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council.
Mr Kumar said the 2,500 advocates registered at the court have decided to "stay away" to ensure "speedy justice", meaning the government would have to appoint lawyers for the defendants.
In 2008, Indian lawyers also refused to defend a gunman who took part in attacks on Mumbai which killed 166 people, leaving him with a government-appointed lawyer. He was executed in November last year.
Meanwhile, India's top court says it will decide whether to suspend politicians facing sexual assault charges.
The move came as thousands of women gathered at the Ghandi memorial to demand stronger protection from attackers.
Chief Justice Altamas Kabir agreed to hear a petition from retired government administrator Promilla Shanker asking the Supreme Court to suspend those sitting on national and state legislatures who face prosecution for crimes against women.