iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 29, 2013
The anti-gangrape protesters said they were "hugely disappointed" that the government didn't do enough, which ultimately led to the sixth accused being declared a juvenile. The protesters have planned to hold a condolence meeting on Tuesday, which marks a month since the Delhi gang rape victim died in a Singapore hospital.

Rohit Chahal, a student leader who protested at India Gate and Jantar Mantar following the brutal gangrape on December 16, said: "The government should have lowered the age for juvenile criminals and amended the laws, making bone ossification test mandatory for age determination."

"In the case of former army chief VK Singh, the government didn't go by educational certificates. Minors are not allowed to marry but are they allowed to rape and get away? It was a special case. The government could have done much more to allow courts nail all the accused," he said.

Pauline Audrem, a student who had earlier contradicted police theory that constable Subhash Tomar was assaulted and trampled upon by the crowd protesting at India Gate, told HT: "We knew this would happen. What else could the court do? We demanded laws should be changed, the juvenile age should be lowered. But nothing happened. This is a murder case. All accused have to be hanged."

Kavita Krishnan, secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association, said, "We should not be quick to change the juvenile justice laws. The six accused have, no doubt, committed a terrible crime. But we must remember that teens are prone to influence from elders and peer pressure. I have come across cases where even 14-year-olds have committed rapes and murders."

But anger is palpable among the people.

"If the juvenile accused goes scot-free despite the brutality that he apparently subjected the couple to just because of his age, it will be a sad precedent for our criminal justice system," said Radha Anand, a housewife living in Noida.