Amid a national debate on whether juveniles accused of heinous crimes should face stronger punishment, the family of the December 16 gang rape victim reiterated their demand for death penalty to all the six accused, including the minor.
Accepting the Rani Laxmi Bai -Stree Shakti award dedicated to their daughter’s “fighting spirit” from President Pranab Mukherjee on International Women’s Day, the victim’s mother said: “Even if one of the accused in the case is a juvenile, he was an equal partner in the crime and should be hanged.”
“A crime is a crime irrespective of who commits it,” she said and broke down. She was accompanied by her husband and two young sons.
The victim’s family said the government’s decision to dedicate the Stree Shakti Puraskar to their daughter was fine but they wanted justice.
“We had come to the award function to meet the president and tell him that all the accused should be hanged. But we did not get a chance to speak to him…. we won’t be able to rest in peace till all the six accused are hanged,” the victim’s father said.
Bestowing the award to the 23-year-old gang rape victim, the President said, “She is a true hero and symbolises the best in Indian youth and women. Her sad demise should not be in vain. We must do everything to ensure that such an incident never happens again.”