Four years on, Nirbhaya’s parents still await justice
Four years after ‘Nirbhaya’, a physiotherapy intern, was brutally gang-raped and tortured, leading to widespread protests that brought the issue of woman’s security to the forefront, her parents are still waiting for the axe to fall on the convict’s heads.
For Nirbhaya’s mother, it has been a long and torturous ordeal as the memories of her daughter continue to haunt her. Now, she claims that she can rest peacefully only after, the deaths of the accused.
“We are alive while she is gone, now we have to wait for the death sentence to finally take place and it has been a long wait for justice. She wanted to do great things in her life, my girl had a lot of potential. The fight for my daughter’s justice is the reason we are alive today. She gives us strength,” said Nirbhaya’s mother.
Her mother claims that now she has been in and out of the courts multiple times and despite the fact that her daughter’s case had been referred to a fast track court, there is a long way to go for speedy justice.
“There are countless cases of rapes which are being reported across the country and I don’t think that every one will get a fast track court. Even I have been in and out of the courts numerous times. If you ask me, it’s an exhausting ordeal. I had to go to court today as well,” she said.
Nirbhaya’s parents have now shifted to a new house this year. She barely has the time to look after the house these days as she is busy talking to the media and members from civil society regarding her daughter’s case. However, she still has some of her daughter’s belongings left behind which bring back memories of joy and grief.
“I still have some of her books and clothes tucked away. I do not look at them but there are times when I walk around the room and I glance at them as I can’t help it,” she said breaking into tears.
The grief soon gives way to anger as she vents her ire at the lawyers who still ask to rescind the death penalty. “There are two of them (lawyers) who ask for the convict’s mercy. I do not understand why, people who do such monstrous things, should not be hanged,” she said.
Despite the numerous measures like the Justice Verma committee recommendations, the fast track courts, Nirbhaya fund, and numerous other initiatives by the Delhi Police, there is still a long way to go. “A girl may be treated equally in offices in major cities but in backward villages, the situation is very bad. Initiatives like Beti Padhao Beti Bachoa are welcome but only when it permeates the thinking of many rural people will we make headway,” she said.
To break from the culture of shaming a rape victim and the stigma associated with it, her mother had last year announced on a public platform that her daughter should be referred by her real name and not a name given by the media.
“There are many who still don’t take her name openly. Her name meant the light, and my daughter has lit the hearts of thousands of citizens across the country,” she said.