India Gang Rape Victim's Mother Speaks Out As Accused Due In New Delhi Court

The mother of the 23-year-old Indian student who was fatally gang raped last December has called comments by leading public figures blaming the attack on her daughter as "sexist and irresponsible".

Speaking to the BBC, she said such statements effectively condoned rape.

A lawyer defending three of the accused said the rape would not have happened to a "respectable lady" whilst a popular spiritual guru said the victim was "equally responsible".

The case has sparked a number of huge demonstrations in New Delhi

A number of other male figures including politicians have blamed the trend of young girl's adopting of Western dress and values for such incidents.

Five men accused of the 23-year-old's murder are due to appear in a specially convened fast-track New Delhi court on Monday.

The physiotherapy student, who is not being named in court, and a male friend were attacked on a bus on the 16th December.

She died two weeks later from the massive internal injuries she sustained whilst he was beaten and suffered a broken leg.

If found guilty the men could face the death penalty. The girl's father has called for them to be hanged.

The case has caused outrage in India, not just because of the nature of the attack but also from the reaction of high profile figures who have blamed the rape on the victim.

The defendants have been named as Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.

A sixth suspect claims to be 17-years-old and will be tried in a juvenile court.

The case is being held behind closed doors.

Defence lawyers have argued the defendants will not receive a fair trial in the city where the rape took place and have argued it should be heard in the open in a different location.

The judge rejected the claim, reports Al Jazeera.

The defence also revealed the five convicted men would plead not guilty and would argue they were tortured by police for confessions.