A day before the “official” release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape case, the families of the others held guilty of the crime described him as “fortunate”.
Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and Mukesh Singh were convicted of the crime, while another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013. Proceedings against him were abated following his death.
Sharma’s mother, Champa Devi, said Saturday, “My son did wrong, but we are paying for his crime. We have now stopped hoping for him, but the juvenile is very lucky because he got another chance to start a new chapter of his life.”
Recalling her last meeting with her son, she added, “We discussed about the juvenile’s release and he told me the boy was fortunate.” Champa Devi said her son “felt guilty” about the death of his younger sister.
Sharma’s advocate, A P Singh said his client had graduated to second year of a BA programme from Delhi University and recently appeared for examination from jail.
“His parents’ names have been registered in the visitor register and they usually meet him twice a month. Nowadays, he has also started painting. Recently, one of his paintings sold for Rs 4,000 at a ‘mela’,” he added.
Thakur’s wife, Punita Devi, met him in Tihar jail about a year ago. She has been unwell and stays put in Bihar.
“I speak with him on phone and hope he is well. I heard about the release of the juvenile; he must be coming out following the prayers of his parents and other relatives,” she said.
Sources in Tihar jail said Gupta’s father, a fruit vendor, comes to meet him. Mukesh’s mother meets him, added the sources. “All of them are monitored by CCTV cameras. They were kept under watch after Ram Singh was found dead in his cell,” said the sources.