“They say he (Narendra Modi) is fearless. Will he help us get justice?” says the father of December 16 gangarape victim as he fights back tears while remembering his daughter whose brutal rape and murder two years ago shook the nation’s conscience.
Referring to the recent incident where an executive was raped by a Uber cab driver, the father said, “Nothing in India has changed since December 16, 2012. All promises and statements made by our leaders and ministers have turned out to be shallow. Our suffering gives them their moment in limelight.”
“My daughter asks me what I have done to get her justice. She asks what am I doing so that many more like her get justice and I wake up to realise how helpless and trivial I am,” the father said, adding that he has not slept peacefully even once since that fateful night.
The four adult accused Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh were tried by a fast-track court which awarded them death penalty on September 13, 2013. The Delhi High Court upheld the death penalty in March this year. Now the family is waiting for Supreme Court hearing on the convicts’ appeal.
How could things change, the parents reasoned, when even the four men convicted of their daughter’s rape and murder have not yet been punished.
“What is holding the authorities back from hanging those rapists and murderers when all the evidence are in place?” he said disappointment writ large on his face.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gangraped, and brutally sexually assaulted by six men, including a juvenile,
in a moving bus on December 16, 2012. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.
The woman died of grave intestinal injuries on December 29, 2012 at a Singapore hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.
Pinning hopes for justice on the new government, the parents expressed their wish to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“They say he (Narendra Modi) is fearless. They also say he is a decision taker. Will he then help us get justice?” said the father.
He said he kept his promise of opening the Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust, but the government and authorities have “miserably failed to keep their words.”
The not-for-profit organisation was launched on May 10 this year to provide legal aid and rehabilitation to victims of sexual abuse. The family would organising a function to pay tributes to the braveheart at the Trust office in ITO.
One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
A juvenile involved in the crime was on August 31, 2013 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.