Delhi gang-rape suspect beaten up in jail

New Delhi - One of the men accused of taking part in the fatal gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus in a crime that outraged India has been badly beaten up in jail by other prisoners, his lawyer said on Thursday.

AP Singh told reporters that his client Vinay Sharma, a gym instructor accused of the murder and rape of the 23-year-old woman on a moving bus last month, was in agony during a court appearance on Thursday.

"Vinay Sharma was badly tortured in jail by other inmates who pounced on him. He was not in a position to stand up in court because he was in great pain," Singh said.

"It is sad the jail authorities cannot provide security to them," he added.

Twenty-year-old Sharma is one of six people - one of them a juvenile - arrested over an attack that has fuelled nationwide anger and led many in India to stage mass demos, protesting the country's treatment of women.

The case is expected to be transferred to a fast-track court later this month, as calls grow for a swift trial and stiffer penalties for sex attackers.

The five adults could face the death penalty if convicted.

A lawyer for another defendant, bus driver Ram Singh, told reporters he would ask the Supreme Court to transfer the case out of the Indian capital, saying: "I know we will not get justice in Delhi".

A wide-ranging gagging order has been imposed on media reporting of the case.

The young student died on 29 December, 13 days after the attack, due to severe internal injuries suffered when she was violated with a metal rod.

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