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Would’ve have preferred death penalty of culprits: Bhopal gangrape victim

india Updated: Dec 24, 2017 17:00 IST
Punya Priya Mitra and Shruti Tomar
Punya Priya Mitra and Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Crime against women,Gang rape,Bhopal gang-rape victim

19-year old Bhopal gang-rape victim says her desire to crack the UPSC exam remains strong despite the horrifying incident she faced while returning home from a coaching institute (HT File Photo )

She had stoically faced the world for the past 53 days, but after Saturday’s verdict the Bhopal gang-rape victim broke down and cried her heart out.

Four men accused of raping the 19-year-old woman on her way back from a coaching class in October were sentenced to life imprisonment till death by a fast-track court.

“It is a relief to know that the four accused will be in jail till they die, though I would have preferred the death penalty, as it would have been a strong deterrent for others. But, my ordeal has ended, and I want to get back to my normal life,” she told HT after the verdict.

She said all rape cases should be tried in fast track courts because waiting endlessly for verdict is too traumatic.

For these past days, her entire life had been geared towards getting justice – going to the police station, hospital, talking to lawyers. Rest of the time she remained indoors.

“Few of my close friends who know about the incident visited me, but most of the time I have been with my parents,” she said.

She had been returning from a coaching class she attended for the UPSC exam when she was waylaid and raped by the four.

Despite the horrifying incident of that ill-fated night, her desire to crack the exam remains strong.

“I will rejoin the classes, and my aim is to become an IPS officer, which I will prefer even over the IAS. I want to stand on my own feet and never be a subject of pity” she said.

Her parents are in the police service. Save the initial hiccups when the police doubted her story and delayed in registering the case, her experience with the cops has been good. “Throughout this period, they counselled me, and Railway Police’s SP madam even guided me on how to prepare for my UPSC exam.”

My parents have been a pillar of strength during this entire period. “Never once have they said anything or indicated through their action that my life is ruined due to this incident. They have acted normally. I read that a minister (home minister Bhupendra Singh) wanted to nominate me for the Padmavati award, but I think my parents deserve it more than I do,” she said.

My mother told me, “People meet with road accidents; your accident was with men.”

First Published: Dec 24, 2017 11:13 IST