Victim’s family opposes accused as witnesses

The family of the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped in a moving bus here Monday opposed the request of two of the accused to be state witnesses.

The victim’s brother said over phone from his native village in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia that as the police have enough evidence in the case, they should not permit any of the accused to turn state witness. ‘If the two accused are allowed to become state witnesses, they will get leniency in court. They should be hanged for their heinous crime,’ the victim’s brother said.

‘The accused moved the plea to escape the death sentence. Their plea must be rejected,’ he said.

The victim’s father said there were enough witnesses.

Of the four accused who were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler on Sunday, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma refused the services of a legal counsel and expressed their willingness to become witnesses on behalf of the state.

Of the six accused, one is a juvenile.

Additional standing counsel Rajiv Nanda said, ‘Many accused try to be state witnesses to avoid maximum punishment. If the investigating agency has enough proof in the gang-rape case, they should not let any of the accused turn witness as it can benefit them.’
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