“We will take our battle for justice across India to awaken governments and law makers,” said a heartbroken Asha Devi, mother of the December 16 gangrape victim, after Supreme Court today rejected a plea against release of the juvenile convict in the case.
Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict yesterday, she and her husband Badri Singh will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for rest of the four rapists who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.
“Despite our repeated pleas and demands for not setting the juvenile free, he has been released. We are dejected, shattered. But we will not stop and continue our fight to ensure that the other four rapists are hanged.
“We met with disappointment at every door, we are heart broken, but not crushed,” Devi told PTI.
The Supreme Court rejected the plea by Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal against release of the juvenile offender.
Devi said both she and Singh had felt that the plea would be rejected and that their sufferings were being used by others to hog the limelight.
“Supreme Court’s verdict was what we had expected. How many more rapes, how many more murders will have to take place for the government to change laws?
“Nothing in India has changed since December 16, 2012. All promises and statements made by our leaders and ministers have turned out to be shallow. Our suffering gives them their moment in limelight,” she said.
The parents of the victim along with hundreds of youths and activists gathered at Jantar Mantar for the third consecutive day demanding death penalty for the convicts of the gangrape case.
(Reopens DEL 57)
The parents of the victim as well as other protesters were detained on Saturday as well as yesterday for holding demonstration in violation of prohibitory orders.
The juvenile convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the six attackers, was released yesterday after the Supreme Court in a post-midnight order declined to stay his release in response to a Special Leave Petition filed by Maliwal.
The DCW chief today termed it a “black day” in the history of India after Supreme Court rejected her plea. She held the MPs in the Rajya Sabha accountable for not having passed the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act till now which has been pending there.
The Centre said the amendments to Juvenile Justice Act that will allow children between 16-18 years to be tried as adults in heinous crime cases will come up before Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
The Juvenile Justice Amendment Act has already been passed in the Lok Sabha.
The convict was sent to an NGO in Delhi yesterday.
He along with five others, had gangraped and murdered the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on December 16, 2012, an incident that shook the nation and led to widespread protests.
He was sentenced to three years in a reform home ‘Place of Safety’ in north Delhi’s Magazine Road by Juvenile Justice Board, a punishment which drew criticism from several people who claimed it was inadequate and disproportionate to the gruesomeness of the crime he had committed.
There were also demands that he be tried in an adult court. The existing Juvenile Justice Act provides for a maximum sentence of three years in a correctional facility.