I can sleep peacefully tonight, says father of Delhi gang rape victim after SC upholds death penalty for convicts
Devi and Singh let out sighs and tears when the Supreme Court ruled on Friday afternoon that the four rapist-murderers of their daughter will hang to death.india Updated: May 11, 2017 10:32 IST
Asha Devi is happy that her daughter will rest in peace finally. And her husband, Badri Nath Singh, will sleep peacefully on Friday night — four years, four months and 18 days since an evening in 2012 that wrecked the couple’s world.
Devi and Singh let out sighs and tears when the Supreme Court ruled on Friday afternoon that the four rapist-murderers of their daughter will hang to death.
“We waited for this day for four years and I am happy with the verdict. It has restored my faith in the judiciary. It did take long, but we did get justice,” the mother said, regaining her composure in the packed courthouse abuzz with people applauding the judgment.
Her daughter, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, would have turned 28 on May 10.
“Today’s verdict is a gift for her,” said husband Singh, who has slept fitfully since five men and a 17-year-old school dropout took turns to rape his daughter and murder her in the most horrific way possible on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012.
“I will sleep peacefully tonight,” he said, but wondered about the fate of other rape victims. “What about justice to those whose cases are pending in courts?”
Devi answered her husband’s question, saying the fight has not ended.
She said at times she felt weak and wanted to give up the fight, but would pull herself up as her daughter’s face flashed in front of her eyes.
“This incident was a challenge to the government, state and police. It was shameful and it was a blot. But this verdict has a lesson for the perverts.”
The four convicts — gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Thakur, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta and unemployed Mukesh Singh — along with driver Ram Singh and the teenager pounced on the young woman and her friend when they boarded the bus to go home after watching a movie, Life of Pi.
The rapists pinned down her male companion, raped her one by one, and pulled out her internal organs with a rusted L-shaped iron rod used with a wheel jack. Then they threw them out of the vehicle. She died of internal injuries 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.
Ram Singh committed suicide in Tihar jail, while the teenaged convict was set free after he served a three-year sentence in a correctional home for juvenile delinquents.
Devi said it was difficult for her to accept the light punishment given to the teenager.
“He was released because he was a child, but what that boy did to my girl is not a child’s act. I can never forgive him,” she said.
“The whole country knows about the case but nobody saw her pain. I saw it. My daughter died in front of me.”
The convicts are expected to approach the President for clemency.
The victim’s father said “ultimate justice” will be done after the President declines their mercy plea. “We will wait for that day.”
At Devi and Singh’s village in Uttar Pradesh Ballia, people held special prayers to thank god and the court. Residents of Medawar Kala said they had been all along praying for justice to their daughter.