NEW DELHI: In a brave homage to her daughter, the mother of the December 16 gangrape victim today took her name in public, and said people who commit heinous crimes like rape should hang their heads in shame and not the victims or their families. Asha Singh told a crowd on Wednesday, December 16, that she felt “no shame” in announcing her daughter’s name: “Her name was Jyoti Singh.”
The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally sexually assaulted on the ill-fated night of December 16 three years ago, and died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage. Among many, her spirit continued to live, and in tribute she was given the name ‘Nirbhaya’ or brave heart.
Rape victims cannot be named under Indian law.
Their identities are often hidden in a bid to protect them from being shunned in society.
“I say this in front of you all that her name was Jyoti Singh,” Asha Singh said at a public gathering in Delhi, three years to the day of the attack.
“There is no need for us to feel any shame. It is the perpetrators of heinous crimes who must feel ashamed of themselves.”
16 December 2012: A 23-year-old physiotherapy student is gang-raped by six men on a bus in Delhi, her male friend is beaten up and the pair are thrown out after the brutal assault
17 December: Key accused Ram Singh, the bus driver, is arrested. Over the next few days, his brother Mukesh Singh, gym instructor Vinay Sharma, fruit seller Pawan Gupta, a helper on the bus Akshay Thakur, and the 17-year-old juvenile, who cannot be named, are arrested.
29 December: The victim dies in hospital in Singapore from injuries sustained during the assault; body flown back to Delhi
30 December: Cremated in Delhi under tight police security
11 March 2013: Ram Singh dies in Tihar jail; police say he hanged himself, but defence lawyers and his family allege he was murdered
31 August: The juvenile is found guilty and sentenced to three years in a reform facility
13 September: The four adult defendants are convicted and given the death penalty by the trial court
13 March 2014: The Delhi high court confirms the death sentence
March – June: The convicts appeal in the Supreme Court and the death sentences are put on hold until the court takes a decision