They don’t live there any more but the convicts of the December 16 gangrape still scare residents of Sant Ravi Dass Camp, home to four of the men involved in the dastardly crime.
Hundreds of migrant families live here in 8X6 sq feet cramped rooms that the dwellers proudly refer to as their ‘flats’. One of the dingy alleys, spread through the cramped cluster of houses like veins, leads to a wooden door to the space where one of the main convicts, Ram Singh, once lived.
Hundreds of migrant families live here in 8X6 sq feet cramped rooms that the dwellers proudly refer to as their ‘flats’. Sanjeev Verma/ HT File
Singh, who hanged himself in his cell at Tihar Jail, still haunts the house, locals believe. Let alone buying or encroaching upon the space, even kids are not allowed to go near the house. It has remained locked for the past two years.
Elderly women, sitting on the threshold of their houses and watching their kids play, advise you not to believe stories but then dare you to spend a night inside.
Till some months ago, women climbed the terrace of Singh’s house to hang their clothes to dry in the sun. That has stopped after the news spread that the house was haunted. No one knows the source though. The fear is thick and horror stories are galore.
The rumours got wings some months ago when Singh’s parents chose not to stay in the house, locked it one fine morning and went to their native place in Rajasthan. Their relative Asha told HT that she had returned to city after Ram’s brother Mukesh Singh made controversial remarks in India’s Daughter, a controversial documentary on the gang rape incident, suspecting that the government would execute him. She stays at her youngest son’s house in Saket.
While Ram has turned a ghost for the locals, Mukesh has lost the last iota of sympathy that was discreetly displayed for him behind the closed doors. There were some who believed Singh was only driving the bus on the night of December 16 while the rest raped the woman inside. But not any more.
Showing no remorse for the incident that night, Singh in his interview to the documentary maker blamed the 23-year-old victim for travelling with her boyfriend. “We have daughters too who work night shifts at the airport. Should we stop them from travelling at night because Mukesh and his brother are allowed to rape them? He should be hanged without any delay. We believe that a man who can make such a statement must have been equally involved that night,” said a woman.
In a colony, where owning a laptop or computer is a luxury, the moment you mention the ‘BBC documentary’, teenagers flash their Chinese mobile phones and say they have seen it all.