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India’s gang rape & murder trial to be held in camera, judge rules

Indian women carry placards as they march to mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India, Jan. 2, 2013. AP Photo/ Dar Yasin, File

Keeping in view the sensitivity of the Delhi gang rape case, the court proceedings, including the inquiry and trial, will be held in camera, ruled Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal ruled on Monday.

Following rowdy scenes in the packed court, Aggarwal closed the hearing to the media and the public. The court was cleared and police were posted at its doors before the accused were brought in.

Five men accused of the gang rape and murder of an Indian student appeared in court to hear charges against them, after two of them offered evidence possibly in return for a lighter sentence in a case that has provoked widespread anger.

The five men, along with a teenager, are accused of raping the 23-year-old physiotherapy student when she boarded their bus after going to the cinema in New Delhi on Dec. 16. She died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.

Aggarwal said the next hearing would be on Jan. 10, as the five have already been charged with murder, rape and abduction along with other offences.

She did not say when the case would go to trial in a separate, fast-track court, set up after the attack on the woman.

After hearing the charges, the men walked out of the south Delhi court through a metal detector door into a blue police van that took them to Tihar jail.

The attack on the student has ignited protests against the   government and anger towards the police for their perceived     failure to protect women. It has also provoked a rare national debate about rising violence against women.