A photo of goddess Durga hanging on a wall of her house is all that had helped Asha get through each day since December 16 last year. When she returned home on Tuesday after a special fast track court pronounced four men guilty of gang-raping and murdering her 23-year-old daughter, it was again her only source of strength.
The family of the medico who succumbed to her injuries days after her gang rape has found that justice can be bittersweet.
“When I got up on Tuesday, I stood in front of my daughter’s photograph and told her, ‘You be with me and give me your strength.’ I am satisfied.... Her soul will now rest in peace,” says father Kedar Nath Singh. “If it (the verdict) was a reason to celebrate, I would have offered sweets to people. But even in this victory, we are at a loss.”
Both Asha and Singh hope that the men will be shown no mercy when the quantum of punishment is announced on Wednesday.
“They should not be shown any mercy after what they did to our daughter. We hope that the court says they should be hanged,” asserts Singh.
The family also hopes that the speed with which the case has been handled will serve as a precedent for similar rape cases pending in court. “We hope that victims and their families also get swift justice,” says Singh.
Parents of the four men, however, hope to appeal the verdict in the Delhi high court. “Mukesh was only driving the bus and did not do anything. We will approach high court now,” says an inconsolable Kalyani Devi, his mother.
Her neighbours, however, don’t share these sentiments.
Passions run high at the Ravidas camp near RK Puram sector 3, where the four men lived. “They should be sent to hell for what they did to the young woman ,” lashes out a neighbour.