NEW DELHI, Jan 5 (agencies): A public prosecutor said Saturday there was strong forensic evidence against five men accused of gang-raping a student in New Delhi on a moving bus as their trial began in a city court.
A district magistrate hearing the case took note of the charges including rape and murder on Saturday, signalling the start of the trial, and ordered the men to appear before her for the first time Monday.
"We have filed all the evidence," Rajiv Mohan, additional public prosecutor, told the court in Saket in the south of the city.
"The blood of the victim tallied with the stains found on the clothes of the accused," he added, saying that a DNA test had been conducted by the police.
He also said that police had recovered possessions stolen from the victim and her boyfriend, who were thrown out of the vehicle at the end of their ordeal.
As well as the forensic and other evidence, the woman's boyfriend has testified to police and has reportedly identified the culprits.
Mohan said that the woman had died last weekend of "septicemia (blood poisoning) from multi-organ failure due to multi-organ injury" after she was repeatedly raped and violated with an iron bar.
Speaking to AFP, the presiding magistrate Namrita Aggarwal confirmed she had "taken cognisance" of the charges, adding that this meant the trial had begun.
"They (the suspects) will be produced in court on Monday," she added.
The men, aged from 19 to 35, had been expected to be tried in a different fast-track court amid a clamour for their conviction and warnings from the chief justice that due processes must be followed.
A sixth suspect arrested by police is believed to be a minor, but he is undergoing a bone test to check his age.
Executions are rare in India, but can be sanctioned for the "rarest of rare" crimes.
Meanwhile: The friend of a woman who died after being raped on a bus in Delhi has given his first interview since the incident.
The man, who has not been named, told Zee News how he and the victim had boarded the bus and paid a fare, before he was beaten unconscious by men on board, who then attacked her. He also criticised police for their slow response to the attack.
Meanwhile. Police have opened an investigation into whether Zee News broke broadcasting laws relating to disclosure of the victim's identity.
The 28-year-old friend said he and the rape victim had boarded the bus after a trip to the cinema and after failing to flag down an auto-rickshaw.
He said the bus had tinted windows, and that he believed the group of men had laid a trap for them.
He confirmed earlier reports that the assailants had thrown them off the bus and tried to run them over. The friend said he had tried to get help from passers-by and motorists.
And he also criticised the authorities, accusing them of being slow to arrive, then arguing over jurisdiction, and eventually taking them to the wrong hospital.
"My friend was bleeding profusely. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, police took us to a hospital that was far away," he said.