The father of the 23-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on a bus on December 16 last year says he is hurt by references made to her in the media reports as a “gang-rape victim” and wants her to be known as a brave girl that she was.
At a press conference with Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta and South Delhi Mayor Savita Gupta on Tuesday, he said: “When my daughter is repeatedly referred to as a ‘gang rape victim’ on TV and in newspapers, I feel very bad. She was really a brave heart.”
Acknowledging the father’s decision to give due honour to his daughter, Mr. Gupta announced that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to name an upcoming science museum at R.K. Puram after her.
“This is an important issue that has shaken up the foundations of society. She was a brave girl and she should be known as the brave heart that she was. For how long will the girl be known as the victim?” he asked. “So the SDMC will name the museum after her. It will be called the Brave Heart…Science Museum and will be proof that she changed society for the better.”
All the three civic bodies would name their various coming projects in memory of the girl, he said.
Mr. Gupta said the father had given an undertaking under Section 228(A) of the Indian Penal Code that he had no objection to revealing his daughter’s name, and the SDMC could name any part of its jurisdiction after her. “I hereby declare that I have no objection to the above. I feel that in case the South Delhi Municipal Corporation decides to name any of its park, school building, institution or scheme after my daughter…, such an act will be honouring her,” states the affidavit written on Monday.
There would be no legal hassle in naming the museum after the girl as her father had given a written undertaking, Mr. Gupta said. “By Tuesday evening, the South Corporation’s Naming Committee, headed by the Mayor, will pass a resolution… and it will be put up to the House for approval.”
The museum is expected to be built by the end of this fiscal (March 31) and to cost between Rs.18 and Rs. 20 crore.
The father, however, answered only a few questions and chose not to comment on the Justice Verma Committee’s report, the ordinance the Union government issued subsequently to tackle sexual offences, or whether the law should be named after his daughter. He instead demanded that the six accused be sentenced to death and requested the media to respect the family’s privacy.
The girl’s brother said the family was not interested in whether the Verma Committee’s recommendations were implemented or not. “What we want is justice for my sister.”
He also demanded that the juvenile, perceived to be the most violent among the six persons, should be treated like the other accused. “Beyond 14 years of age, we are aware of what is right or wrong and we know what we are doing. This person is over 17… and so he should fall under an exceptional case.”