The cautious optimism of the gang-rape victim’s family about a possible death penalty for the four convicts on the day of the verdict appeared to have somewhat dwindled after the court reserved its order on the quantum of sentence.

However, what remained firm was their demand for capital punishment for “those who had no scope for reforming even if their sentence was reduced”.

“I hope this delay in delivery of sentence does not mean denial and that the court will give us justice by sentencing all of them to death. The accused are asking for mercy now, but what about the torture my daughter was subjected to? She repeatedly asked them to let her go, but who among these four paid heed to her cries?” said the victim’s mother after leaving the courtroom.

The defence for one of the accused, besides submitting a plethora of “mitigating factors” for reduction of sentence, made a mention of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote on how only God had the right to take someone’s life.

Reacting to this, the victim’s mother said she failed to understand why such arguments were being made at this stage, when the court had held them guilty. What made many present in the court complex curious was the absence of the male friend of the woman who was with her on December 16, 2012. To a query, her family said they had not spoken to him either on Tuesday or Wednesday. Protests demanding improved safety for women and death for all the convicts, including the juvenile, continued outside the court for the second consecutive day. A few protesters even engaged in heated arguments with some of the defence counsels outside the court.

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