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Closure only when I see the convicts hanged, says mother of 2012 Delhi gangrape victim

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the pleas filed by three of the four convicts seeking a review of its earlier verdict upholding their death penalty for the gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old on December 16, 2012.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2018 23:51 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi gangrape case verdict,December 16 gangrape verdict,gangrape verdict sc
Mother of the 23-year-old woman gangraped in Delhi on December 16, 2012,reacts to Supreme Court's verdict on the convicts plea, in New Delhi, on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Dressed in a dark blue sari, the mother of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student who was brutally gangraped and murdered in the December of 2012, stood with her husband at the gates of the Supreme Court on Monday for, possibly, the very last time, to see their six-year-old fight for justice end on a victorious note.

As she prepared to face the cameras, her face wears a smile of contentment. Her first words after the verdict— “this is not the end”.

“I have waited for this day every day for the past six years. This verdict is what I was living for. But, now, I have a new goal and that is to see them (the convicts) hanged. Only then, can I sleep in peace,” she said.

On Monday, the apex court dismissed the pleas filed by three of the four convicts, seeking a review of its earlier verdict upholding their death penalty for the gangrape and murder of the 23-year-old on December 16, 2012.

A six-year long battle

Clearing her throat, the mother said Monday’s verdict was something she had expected. What was new, however, was that for the first time in all these years of making the rounds of Delhi’s courts, she did not cry at the end of the hearing.

“These hearings remind me of her (her daughter) even more. During the last few hearings, when the death sentences were upheld for these four, I cried out of happiness. Such wounds would never fully heal,” she said.

However, despite her personal grief, the six years of legal battle had strengthened her belief in the legal system of the country, the mother said.

“It was a long wait, but at least my daughter got justice,” she said.

But the parents asserted that any delay in hanging these “monsters” will only lead to more crimes against women.

“Hanging these criminals will act as a deterrent. Men with such sick mentalities will think twice before subjecting a woman to such brutality,” the father said.

Verdict for all ‘daughters’

The 23-year-old’s father said this verdict was not just limited to their daughter, but was one that gave hope to several others daughters of this country who are raped, molested and, sometimes, murdered. These girls and women, the father said, are hoping to get some relief by seeing these rapists go to the gallows.

“The fear of death must be instilled in every person. They must know that if they ever do such a heinous act, they will be hanged,” he said.

Juvenile their only regret

Another regret that the parents of the victim said they still have is that the juvenile, who was also convicted of the gangrape and murder, is roaming free somewhere.

“This so called ‘child’ was the most violent of the gang. Anyone who can be so monstrous in his action, who does not care about another’s life, and who sees woman as a piece of meat, is not a child. He deserved to be tried as an adult and face the same fate as the others,” the mother said, her voice shivering as she paused.

The juvenile was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released in 2015, after serving his three-year term—the highest possible punishment for under-18 convicts of rape and murder.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 08:58 IST