A juvenile convicted in the infamous December 16 gang rape case will spend a year in an NGO after his release from the special home where he served a three-year sentence as he fears for his life, sources told HT on Thursday.
The decision came after months of outrage by civil society groups and reports that the convict, now 21 years old, was radicalised inside the detention centre by a fellow inmate.
HT had reported last month that authorities were mulling invoking the National Security Act to stop the juvenile from leaving Delhi or go to Srinagar – the native place of the convict who indoctrinated him – as any such move may stoke more trouble and communal tensions. He was set to be released on December 15.
The juvenile escaped the gallows because he was 17 years and nine months old at the time of his arrest. Three of his co-accused are currently on death row.
Just weeks before his release, his victim’s parents had approached the National Human Rights Commission pleading that the NHRC intervene to stop the convict’s release on the grounds that he was a continuing “threat to society.” They had also asked for his face to be revealed.
Police had originally planned a quiet release for the juvenile, sensing a visible threat to his life due to adverse public opinion and clamourous demands for him to be hanged.
The seemingly lenient sentence of three years given to juveniles also sparked a nationwide debate with a section of people seeking lowering of the age limit for heinous crimes like rape and murder
On December 1, Union minister Maneka Gandhi had also said she was writing to home ministry requesting that the convict should be tracked once released.