Three hours before the men behind the brutal gangrape of the 23-year-old physiotherapist realised she had finally succumbed to their demonic assault, their families deserted their humble homes in shame.
A father among them, however, perhaps out of denial or in exercise of his last ounce of self-esteem, attempted to save his son’s reputation as he confronted a neighbour at RK Puram’s Ravi Das slum cluster — but in vain.
“I ran into Vinay’s father around 7am,” claimed a neighbour. “He stopped me and asked what I thought of a recent case in which a woman had lodged a seemingly false case in an effort to get her hands on property.”
The neighbour, apparently, gave him the following reply: “Maybe it was, but it doesn’t justify what your son did.” An hour later, the neighbour claimed, she saw a padlock on the door of Vinay’s house. “And so did the others; they left too — all the four families, locking their doors the same way.”
Groups of usually inquisitive local residents at the humble slum cluster — visibly agitated after getting wind of the victim’s death — preferred not to meet the eyes of visitors and strangers when approached.
“To think such animals were among us. How will our daughters get married now?” said a neighbour who finally spoke after much persuasion.
An uneasy calm engulfed Karmalahang, a non-descript village, 35 km from Aurangabad in Bihar, on Saturday.
This is where Akshay Kumar Singh alias Thakur, 25, grew up. One of the six Delhi rape accused, Singh has a beautiful wife and a two-and-a-half-year-old son.
With the possibility of death sentence now looming large, his wife fainted twice after hearing the news of the girl’s death in Singapore.