Three Years Later: December 16 Accused to Go Free on December 20
NEW DELHI: An unforgettable date for the people of India, 16 December, brought back memories of the brutal rape and subsequent death of the 23 year old physiotherapist in Delhi. Yesterday was the third anniversary of that fateful night when the victim was gang raped by six men in a running bus and later dumped on the road to die a painful death.
A yearly commemoration was observed at Jantar Mantar yesterday which was attended by many public personalities with friends and family of Jyoti Singh aka ‘Nirbhaya’, who has become a symbol of constant fight against the predators and apathetic justice system of the country since.
Asha Devi, speaking at the event, which coincided with the news of a possible freeing of one of the accused, a juvenile,who is now a 20 year old, from the juvenile home after having served three years correctional program, insisted that her daughter should no more be called a victim but be referred to by her name, Jyoti Singh. "My daughter's name was Jyoti and I am not ashamed to name her. Those who commit heinous crimes like rape, their heads should hang in shame, not the victims or their families. You should take her name too," she said at the event which was named “Nirbhaya Chetna Divas”.
She expressed her anger at the news of the impending setting free of the sixth accused by saying, "on the third death anniversary, we are seeing the release of the juvenile convict. Where is justice in that? I do not know whether he is 16 or 18. I only know that he has committed a brutal crime and there should be no age limit for punishment."
Her husband also disdained the move and said that the man should not be allowed to go free whether he was 16 or 18 at the time of the crime and he still remains a menace to the society.
20 December has been scheduled as the day when the accused is expected to be released from the juvenile home. The Delhi government’s Woman and Child Development department has announced a onetime grant of Rs 10,000 and a sewing machine to help him rehabilitate. The parents of the Jyoti Singh, dissatisfied with the decision, demanded death sentence for all six accused including the juvenile and speedy trials in future rape cases. The father said if nothing can be done to fulfill what we are demanding then at least expose his face to the public and let the people know who he was.
As the day of the release of the sixth accused is nearing, the final verdict of the Delhi High Court is much awaited which is to decide on the plea filed by Subramanyam Swamy for the stay on former’s release till the time he demonstrably proves that he has reformed and is not a menace to the society. An intelligence brief, according to media reports, also hints at the possible “radicalization” of the youth inside the juvenile home, which makes his release premature.
“We have failed. Now there is no hope for justice… we are not even able to face the memories as we have failed to secure justice for her. And now there is no hope for justice!" the 50-year-old father of the victim said expressing his grief.