NEW DELHI (TIP): The juvenile convict, the youngest out of the six who gangraped and tortured a paramedical student in a moving bus in Delhi in 2012, will walk out of a special home on December 22 but will not be freed for the time being.
The juvenile convict has served his three-year sentence and his release has raked up major issues and old debates. The convict, now 20 years old, was a juvenile in 2012 when the crime was committed, and the court found him guilty of raping and assaulting the victim along with five accomplices – among whom main accused 35-year-old Ram Singh was found dead in his Tihar jail cell in 2013.
According to Delhi police sources, the juvenile convict will be kept in custody after completing his sentence but whether he will be kept inside jail or outside in the custody of NGO is not yet decided.
Earlier, Union minister Maneka Gandhi had advocated that a ‘close watch’ should be kept on the convict after he completes his sentence. “He is a person who should be kept under watch. We can’t just let him go and wait for him to do something else,” she cautioned.
Gandhi said that she has written to the Home Ministry demanding that those accused of sexual abuse and having served a sentence, should be tracked once released.
The parents of the December 16 gangrape and murder victim had recently demanded that the face of the juvenile, who was considered the “most brutal” of all the six offenders, should be shown to the world before he is released as “he is a threat to the society”.
Nirbhaya’s mother told CNN-IBN that allowing the 20-year-old from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh to leave the reform home ‘sends out a wrong message’. “Juveniles will now think they can do whatever they want, and get away with it,” she added.
PTI quoted her as asking, “But did he reform? Thousands of girls are being raped across the country. What has changed?”
Making a strong plea to the government to ensure he remained in custody, in jail if not in a juvenile home, while being tried (it is not clear what she meant because he was tried and sentenced by a juvenile court), Nirbhaya’s mother said: “They say that his rights as a juvenile have to protected. What about us?Are we not citizens, don’t we have rights?And what about Nirbhaya’s rights?Doesn’t she deserve justice? Don’t we deserve justice? I appeal to the government to not allow this to happen. If he roams free we will be sending a wrong message to others.”
Meanwhile, Nirbhaya’s father is quoted by PTI as warning that “He may go out and commit another crime and if he does, it will be due to shortcomings on the government’s part”.