iconimg Friday, May 29, 2015

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
Uttar Pradesh, January 11, 2013
It's time to pick up the pieces, believes the father of the 23-year-old gangrape victim. The family has decided to go back to Delhi in a week. "The period of mourning will get over on Saturday. I don't know what to look forward to, but I will reach Delhi on Thursday," the victim's father told HT at his native village in Uttar Pradesh.

After she died, her family came to the village to mourn her death. "But we were not allowed to mourn in peace. I thank the media for the support but it's been a circus since we came here," the father said. 

"The media, especially foreign journalists, want us to narrate what has happened over and over again. On Tuesday, my father broke down twice, but maybe that made for a better visual," his elder son said.

Even as the victim's father was getting his head shaved, a foreign media house representative phoned him. "He wanted to confirm if I had taken money to give interviews to some journalists," he said in a choked voice.

"We are constantly reminded of the gory details we want to forget. We're losing hundreds of rupees in receiving calls as the phones are on roaming," his younger son said. "People interpret our answers as per their convenience. We're not bothered about my sister's name being made public," he said.

"So many people have made irresponsible comments. Lalu came, spoke to us in front of the media. Why did he come? We know we will be forgotten when the media gets a new headline," said one of the victim's uncles.

But questions still remain in their minds. Asked her father, "Are protests still on in Delhi? Will the two accused become approvers and get away? Does in-camera trial augur bad for the case?"