The day began unusual for the parents and siblings of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student, who was gang-raped and fatally assaulted by six persons on a moving bus on December 16 last year.
“In a household that is usually abuzz with activity in the morning, today nobody spoke much. Nobody slept much either last night. We were all anxious. My mother said in the morning that all she wants is justice for her daughter and that nothing else matters,” said the victim’s brother, who came to the Saket District Court on Friday morning with his parents and sibling for the sentencing of the four men found guilty in the case.
Friday afternoon then finally brought “good news” for the family as the court sentenced the four to death. “Thank you to everyone who stood with us in this fight for justice,” the victim’s mother said.
“We are happy with the verdict. We are satisfied. We feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off our chest and shoulders. There is a sense of peace. The family now feels that our daughter/sister has got justice. We thank everyone for their support, specially the government and the police who have supported us throughout,” said the victim’s father, adding that he was “happy with the sentencing.”
“The four men have committed a crime which is worse than heinous and we have always maintained that this case falls under the rarest of rare category, warranting capital punishment, and we are happy that the court has awarded the death penalty to the men,” the victim’s brother told The Hindu over the phone, trying to choke back his tears.
The family also maintained that if the four men appeal to the High Court, they would fight back. “We are prepared for a very long battle to get justice,” said the parents. “We have also decided to stand with other people in their fight against crime against women.”
The victim’s brother, while referring to the disappointment after the juvenile’s sentencing, said: “We were very disappointed with the punishment that the juvenile got. My mother and father cried at home and they were too disturbed to even sleep that night, but hopefully Friday night will give them the peace of mind and solace that they have been fighting and looking for over the past nine months.”