NEW DELHI: “We have not just lost the battle but also the will to live,” said the mother of Chhawla gangrape victim as she broke down following the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to acquit all the three accused.
In a gut-wrenching incident ten years ago, a 19-year-old woman was abducted and brutally gang raped. The accused beat the victim with the car tools, her body part had cigarette burns and then poured acid on her. Her mutilated body was found three days after she was abducted They were later given a death penalty in 2014 and labled ‘predetors moving on the streets looking for prey’ by the Delhi High Court.
However, today, after the Supreme Court’s verdict, the parents of the victim said they have lost all hope in the judicial system of the country. “I did not sleep in peace for the last ten years, her face always came in front of my eyes, whenever I woke up at night. My only hope to live was to fight for justice for my daughter but today I am defeated,” said Maheshwari Negi, mother of 19 year -old Kiran Negi, whose mutilated body was found in a field in Delhi’s Chhawla area in 2012.
The apex court on Monday acquitted three convicts to who the lower court awarded the death penalty after being held guilty. The father of Kiran, who worked as a watchman on the night shift said that “ Today morning when I went from work, I was happy that today my fight for Kiran will finally get over but I was wrong.”
A few hours after the decision was announced, the family and others briefly protested at the Supreme court’s campus, which was later moved outside at the request of police. Maheswari said that she fought the decade-long battle for her daughter but all go in vain after this decision. Angry with the court’s decision she said, “ This is not only my defeat but a defeat for all mothers. If Kiran were looking at this, then she must be thinking, “Why was I born in this country?”
She further iterated that now I am concerned about the safety of my two other kids, the accused may harm my family. Yogita Bhayana, founder of the PARI, an NGO that works for Gender Justice, said that I had been standing with the family since the first day and will continue for their rights. “ We will challenge this decision” she added.