16/12 effect: Politicians give Ravidas Camp a miss
A year ago, it was just like any other slum cluster - political activists turning up now and then to make the most of the proverbial vote bank - but all that, according to residents, changed post the brutal December 16 gang-rape.india Updated: Dec 05, 2013 01:38 IST
It was just like any other slum cluster a year ago, with political leaders turning up now and then to lure people to vote in their favour. But all that, according to residents, changed after the December 16 gang rape.
Ravidas Camp, which was home to Ram Singh — the prime accused who was found hanging in Tihar Jail this March — and his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma — three of the four adult convicts in the case — has yet to overcome the shock.
Convicted of raping a physiotherapy student on a moving bus, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay along with Akshay Thakur were sentenced to death in September.
Jaya Singh, a third-year BA student of Delhi University and a local resident, proudly flaunted her inked index finger on Wednesday after casting her vote for the Delhi assembly elections. Her excitement, however, died at the mention of the horrific case of sexual assault, which had jolted the nation.
“The campaigning by political parties has decreased in the area. Ahead of elections, generally a lot of parties used to come here... but this time there was hardly any party,” she said.
Ravidas Camp, an everyday name for a small slum cluster in RK Puram's Sector-3 now, its residents feel, raises eyebrows and triggers suspicion.
“After the incident," Singh said, “I prefer not to tell my friends where I live only to avoid being judged by them... just because of some people the entire colony has earned a bad name."
Vihari Lal, the community head of the camp, however, said that the incident had neither affected residents nor had it changed the way political parties have campaigned in the locality.
"Nothing has changed since the incident. It is unfortunate that four of the residents committed such a brutal crime, but we have all condemned the act as well as the criminals and continue to do so.”
There is another man, however, neglected both by political parties as well as the residents of the camp. Madhu Singh, prime accused Ram's younger brother, who moved into his vacated house ten days ago.
"No political party wanted to find out how we were living only because we happened to be Ram Singh's family," he said. “I moved in thinking that the anger among them must have finally subsided, especially after my brother's death. But some things follow a person to his grave.”