NEW DELHI: “My daughter’s name was Jyoti Singh,” said the mother of the victim of the December 16 gangrape. “On her third death anniversary, the culprit is being set free. Where is justice in that? Does her sacrifice deserve this? Justice has been denied,” said Asha Devi, mother of the 23-year-old medical student gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in Delhi three years ago.
Addressing ‘Nirbhaya Chetna Divas’, a public gathering remembering her daughter, at Jantar Mantar, the visibly heartbroken mother said, “I don’t know whether he is 16 or 18. I know that only when the crime is so brutal, there should be no age limit for punishment. The case has been stuck in the Supreme Court for the last one year. The system has failed us.”
And the bereaved father, Badrinath, said, “For us, he is the killer of our daughter who is being set free despite his heinous crime. We demand that he not be released. Show us his face. We have failed in getting her justice. We have tried, but to no avail. Maybe they will listen to you (the crowd)”.
The two-hour-long event, where the controversial movie India’s Daughter was shown to the gathering, and two-minute silence was observed in tribute to the victim, was also attended by many social activists and politicians, including Congress leader Sharmistha Mukhurjee, Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, her predecessor Barkha Singh, and Kiran Bedi,among others.
Another woman whose daughter was gang-raped in Delhi said breaking down, “My daughter would have been here if Nirbhaya had got justice. I want my daughter back. Hang the rapists. People need to fear law. They do not do it now.”
Speaking on the occasion, Bedi said, “Charity begins at home. There are many cases of sexual harassment and misconduct in the families these days, which has to be stopped.”
Maliwal appealed to the Centre to utilise the `3,000-crore Nirbhaya fund for making high-quality ‘Nirbhaya’ forensic labs across the country. “The fast-track courts are not working. The real remembrance to Nirbhaya will only be when 1,500 rape cases pending in the courts are solved. This injustice is a national shame,” she said.
Meanwhile in the Lok Sabha, BJP MPs Hema Malini and Meenakshi Lekhi said the punishment meted out to the juvenile involved in the crime was not enough and that the retribution given to him should be the same as an adult would get.