NEW DELHI: In a brave homage to her daughter, the mother of the December 16 gangrape victim today took her name in public, and said people who commit heinous crimes like rape should hang their heads in shame and not the victims or their families.
The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally sexually assaulted on the ill-fated night of December 16 four years ago, and died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage. Among many, her spirit continued to live, and in tribute she was given the name ‘Nirbhaya’ or brave heart.
But in 2015 after three years of the infamous incident that shocked the entire world, the victim’s mother Asha Devi, in a display of extraordinary courage, took her daughter’s name in public.
“My daughter’s name was Jyoti Singh 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 ‘Nirbhaya Chetna Diwas’ here, a public event organized by women’s and citizens groups at the Jantar Mantar to mark the date.
The parents of the girl, Asha Devi and Badri Singh Pandey also demanded that juvenile convict, allegedly the most brutal” of the six offenders, and scheduled to be released on December 20, should not be released, citing he was a threat to the city.
“On the third death anniversary of our death, 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,” Asha said.
She also put forth four demands from a public platform that the five accused including the juvenile convict should be sentenced to death, fast-track courts be set up in all the courts to offer speedy justice to sexual assault victims, amendments to the Juveniles Justice Act be passed and utilisation of Nirbhaya Fund for setting up high quality forensic labs in all states.
Celebrities like Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee, and various women’s groups had gathered at the Jantar Mantar to pay homage to the girl and agreed that it was the certainty of justice which can bring about a change.
he Jantar Mantar street after the incident had virtually turned into a public memorial for her, with people flocking in from all parts of the city to light up a candle or offer a prayer in her memory, with many moved to tears, recalling the brutality the young girl was subjected to.
He was admitted to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, where his condition is said to be critical. The convict had also consumed a heavy dose of anti-depressants before trying to commit suicide, jail sources told PTI, adding that he was prescribed the medication for depression.
“Few days ago, I met him in jail where he complained about torture inside the jail premises,” said AP Singh, Sharma’s lawyer, to IANS.
Sharma isn’t the first person associated with the gang-rape to try and kill himself. In 2013, Ram Singh+ , then a prime accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape, hung himself while lodged in Tihar jail. Singh was the driver of the bus in which Nirbhaya, a paramedic student, was raped and tortured by six men,