India

4 years after gang-rape, Nirbhaya’s parents remember her

4 years after gang-rape, Nirbhaya’s parents remember her

New Delhi: A horrific gang-rape that shocked and angered the nation happened four years ago on this day. On Friday, Nirbhaya’s parents called for a meeting here to express anguish and solidarity with the victims of sexual assault.

Four years after the terrifying ‘Nirbhaya’ rape, the parents of the 23-year old para-medical student, yet to get over their pain, organised a meeting to commemorate the brutal attack and to discuss how much has changed or stayed the same since 2012.

At the meeting were present the parents of Nirbhaya, who were joined by many political leaders like Sobhja Ojha, President, All India Mahila Congress, Udit Raj, Member of Parliament, and Mamata Sharma, former Chairperson of National Commission for Women.

“Four years have passed but the violators of my daughter have still not seen the flame of justice. I want to see them hanged as soon as possible. They deserve such punishment, nothing less,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.

“BJP had made so many promises after coming to power about the women’s safety. Those promises are still to be realised. Are women any safer in Delhi than 2012? Are they free to move about as per their wish? I don’t think so,” Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal, who was also present at the gathering, said.

That the anger of the people who had taken to the streets post December 16, in solidarity with the victim, is not yet extinguished was evident from the reaction from one of the agitators present at the gathering.

“We want hanging of those beasts. Until that happens we won’t stay quiet or be placated. The crime that they committed is nothing less than barbarity, and they have no place in the civil society,” a close friend of the victim’s family, Akashdeep, told IANS.

The rape which had occurred on the December 16, 2012, had seen massive protests across India, especially in the national capital, where a countless youths had spilled out on the streets and at prominent places, asking for the heads of the culprits.

The brutal rape by six persons, including a juvenile, was committed inside a moving bus when the victim along with her male-friend were returning home from watching a movie and had boarded the bus at Munirka bus-stop.

The case was sensational for the grade of brutality which was committed during it, with disgorged bowels and a battered body completing the details. The doctors were reported as shocked when they first saw the state of the victim and so was everyone who heard of it on TV or elsewhere.

The incident, which engulfed the media space like a wildfire for months, also resulted in a committee for reappraisal of the laws on rape, known as Justice J.S. Committee, which submitted its recommendations on January 23, 2013.

The committee went through the laws related to immoral trafficking, crimes against women at workplaces, child sex abuse, among other crimes, and bore its weight against the mob sentiment prevailing then, when it ruled out death penalty and chemical-castration as one of punishments for rape, and recommended life -imprisonment instead.

The six accused were awarded death sentence in September 2013, the sentence being upheld by the Delhi High Court as well in 2014.

While others waited for their fate, Ram Singh, one of the six accused, hanged himself in his cell inside the Tihar Jail in March 2013. The remaining five still await the Supreme Court decision, where they have appealed for commutation to life sentence.

A fund of Rs 200 crore known as ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ has also been allocated since by the central government, to help rehabilitate victims of sexual abuse.

—IANS