India Frees Youngest Attacker in Infamous Gang Rape
Unnamed man was 17 at time of brutal assault on student 3 years ago
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2015 6:58 AM CST
Indian people hold candles at a candlelight vigil outside the hospital, where the recent rape victim is being treated, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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(Newser) – The youngest attacker in the fatal gang rape of an Indian student aboard a moving bus has been freed three years after the brutal attack that rocked India to its foundations, igniting mass riots and national outcry but little in the way of substantive reform. The unnamed man, who was 17 at the time of the rape, has now served the maximum sentence allowed under Indian law, reports the BBC, and was released Sunday to a charity amid protests, legal challenges seeking to block his freedom, and fears for his safety.

His release had been expected, with victim Jyoti Singh's mother speaking out a few days ago; the AP reports that Singh's parents led protests in Delhi against his release though the BBC notes that their efforts were largely thwarted by Indian police. A legal challenge ended Friday with a court ruling that "we agree it is a serious issue. But after 20 December, the juvenile cannot be kept at a special home per law." The man is among six convicted in the attack; four are appealing death sentences, while one died in prison. His name, which was never made public, will be changed, notes the BBC.