It was a day of deliverance for the family of the victim. For the relatives of the accused, it was one of surrendering to providence.
Tears - of joy and grief - were shed on both sides. The girl’s family said nothing but a death sentence would be acceptable to the soul of their 23-year-old daughter.
The latter, however, pleaded that an entire life of captivity was relatively better than a life forever snuffed out as punishment for their bestial sin.
Minutes before she entered the Saket Court Complex, the late physiotherapist’s mother made it amply clear that she wanted the convicts to hang - ironically her daughter’s first words to the police after having recovered from her ordeal a day after the gang rape.
After Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur were pronounced guilty, her demand became more pressing. “We have gone through hell these past months. After what they did to my daughter, they deserve to be sentenced to death,” she said.
Rama Bai, the mother of Ram and Mukesh Singh, sobbed away in a corner and came close to collapsing as the judge held them guilty of all 13 counts of criminal offences pressed against them.
“What do you want from me now?” her irate husband Mange Lal asked reporters when they approached. “What is left to be said? Go away.”