As the judge uttered in a low voice “death to all” in a packed courtroom on Friday, the mother of the braveheart clutched her two sons, while the father looked close to tears.
Nine months after losing their daughter, the gang-rape victim’s family is hoping to find closure. The woman’s parents and two brothers returned home to the same emptiness even as their village in eastern Uttar Pradesh celebrated the verdict with sweets and drumbeats.
“What we lost won’t come back. We wanted her killers to get death. The images of our daughter in hospital haunt us. We need to find a sense of purpose in life,” the father said. “We want to help other rape victims and their families. We don’t know how to do it. But that could be the only reason to live.”
The brothers said, “People are asking if we’re happy with the verdict. We wanted justice for didi. Let it sink in. I’m sure the thought of four possible deaths is not going to make us happier. But we cannot settle for anything less either.”
“We were waiting with bated breath, now we are relieved. I thank everyone,” the mother said. “Lekin humari ladai khatm nahi hui hai. Jo humare saath khade rahe, hum bhi unike saath khade rahenge (Our fight isn’t over. Those who were with us should know that we’re with them). No rape victim should remain silent,” she said.
“It’s impossible to comprehend the bubbliest of us all is not around. There’s nothing to look forward to. Only helping others get justice can be our life’s purpose,” she said.
The family has been struggling to pick up the pieces. The father who worked as a loader at the airport has resumed duty. He gets more days off than earlier. The government has given them a two-bedroom flat in Dwarka.