The award of life imprisonment for RJD MLA from Nawada, Raj Ballabh Yadav has brought relief to the victim’s family in the politically-sensitive Biharsharif district--village name withheld-- but they didn’t seem satisfied by the quantum of punishment.The victim’s father said they expected capital punishment and only Yadav’s hanging would have bought solace to them. He said no other girl should face what his daughter suffered. “For poor people, fighting against powerful politicians is practically impossible. However, when society collectively rises to such occasions and stands by poor victims, the mighty and the influential eventually give up before the law. In my daughter’s case, it was not me and my family, but society’s support that eventually gave us success,” he added.“Its tough to forget the horror inflicted on me by the politician, but still the life sentence to him has given me some solace. I want to move ahead by continuing studies and turn a new leaf in my life. But for that I would need government’s support,” his daughter, the victim said.A relative said, “She was completing her matriculation when the incident occurred. After the sexual torture began her mental torture, but she still took her board exams and cleared them with flying colours. Hats off to her grit and resolve that despite the turbulent times, she continued her studies and now wants to become a government officer.”Many in the village also felt that only the death sentence would have done justice to the girl.The village where the victim hails from is largely inhabited by poor people or lower-income groups. AIPWA hails verdictThe All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) termed the sentencing of Yadav its personal victory. The AIPWA said it was first to raise voice against the incident and continued to fight the legal battle till he was convicted.“But almost three months had elapsed, even then the charge sheet was not filed. In fact, the state government seemed to be in no mood to take action against Yadav. But we were not ready to allow this to happen. We planned a state level demonstration and virtually gate-crashed the secretariat,” Meena Tiwari, the national general secretary of AIPWA, said.During the protest at the secretariat, some women were detained. “But that did not deter us. The very next day, a charge sheet was filed,” Tiwari said.Shashi Yadav, the state secretary of the AIPWA, said, even when the legislator surrendered and hearing was going, its members gathered at the Bihar Sharif court. “We feared the legislator would get bail,” she said.She said AIPWA’s demonstrations and sit-ins forced the government to take action.