“This is not the end of my life. I will fight it out and am looking forward to getting back to my work as soon as possible,” the 22-year-old photojournalist, who was gang-raped on Thursday evening in the Shakti Mills compound and is at present under medical care at Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, told National Commission for Women (NCW) member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar.
Talking to The Hindu on Saturday, Ms. Prabhavalkar said: “The victim is under trauma and is shocked, but in a positive frame of mind.” The meeting took place after the victim consented to it, and the interaction, the NCW member said, took place in the presence of the victim’s mother and a team of doctors.
The NCW has initiated suo motu action in the case and has formed a three-member committee chaired by Ms. Prabhavalkar to look into it..
Giving details of her meeting with the victim, she said: “The girl told me that she will cooperate fully with the police and she hopes that enough evidence is put together to ensure that the severest punishment is awarded to the accused.” The victim, the NCW member said, was worried about the fact that the five men who assaulted her took her pictures along with her personal details. They had even threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about the incident.
“The victim wants the men to be punished in a manner that they are unable to ‘trouble’ any other girl/women. She also wants the case to be wrapped up fast and not be dragged in court for years together. We have assured her of NCW’s full support,” said Ms. Prabhavalkar, adding: “We wanted to tell her [the victim and her family members] that NCW is with them. I did not ask her anything that would remind her about the incident as she is still recuperating. When I was with her she seemed composed and responsive but the trauma was visible in her eyes. She was tearful.”
“The message that she wanted to send out to all supporting her and following the case was — ‘I am brave. I will be fine. But the accused should be severely punished.’”
The NCW also met the police team investigating the matter and is scheduled to submit its final report on the incident by early next week.