The winding lanes of the close-knit colony at Ravidass Camp, RK Puram Sector 3, remained vacant on Sunday, with a small group of women debating whether they should join a protest march to grieve the death of the 23-year-old gangrape victim that passed through the colony which housed those who brutalised her.
And while they support the protest march that asks for death penalty for the accused, their sympathies for the families of the accused are no less.
“The boys deserve death for their acts but we don’t believe that the families are to blame. They did whatever they could to give them comfortable and stable lives. Both Vinay and Pawan went to school so the family did not fail on those accounts either," said a neighbour who did not want to be named.
The only thing Champa Devi keeps repeating over and over again is her inability to defend her son — co-accused Vinay Sharma.
"What explanation should I give you for his behaviour? I have no answer for what he did. My whole family has come apart," she says, not offering any justification for her son's behaviour. The only thing that keeps her at her one-room house in Ravidass Camp is the support of her neighbours.
"Everyone in this colony knew my son and what he was like. There were no complaints against him but even after his arrest, the people have been supportive. I am thankful to them," she said, even as she shed tears for her daughter who has a genetic defect and has to receive insulin shots every day.
Co-accused Pawan Gupta's family has been missing from their home ever since they received the news of the girl's death. Their spot at the RK Puram Sector 1 fruit market remains vacant and people claim they do not know where they went.