The Nirbhaya rape and murder case may have seen a decision but that has not been a deterrent to the number of crimes against women on the streets of the country, according to Nirbhaya’s father.
On the intervening night of December 16 and 17, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, referred to as Nirbhaya, was raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012, at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
Four of the six men were convicted and hanged on March 20 this year. One of them, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case and another, a juvenile, was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.
Nirbhaya’s father, who joined an online petition which was started by NGOs Save the Children and Yuva to mark the eighth anniversary of the gruesome gangrape case, said that “the fight is not over yet”.
“You have probably never heard from me. Today, I felt it was necessary for you to hear my voice. My name is Badrinath Singh. But since the night of 16th December, 2012, I am known as ‘Nirbhaya’s father’. This is how I will be known for the rest of my life,” he said in a statement.
Eight years ago when “my daughter was snatched away from us in the most brutal way, crowds led by women came out on the streets” and they made “my family’s fight their fight for justice”, he said.
“I thought this case would change us as a country for good. But when I turn on the news, there is a new case of another daughter being brutally assaulted every day. Nothing has changed,” Nirbhaya’s father said.
While laws and systems help, a permanent change will only come when people’s collective mindset changes, he said, adding that men must stop being mute spectators while women face abuse online and on the ground.
“Therefore, I invite every boy and man to become an ally, an active supporter in the fight for women’s safety,” he said.
“If you see a woman being trolled and threatened with rape on social media, speak up and report it. If you notice this happening in your surroundings, stand up with her,” he said.
Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were executed at 5.30 am on March 20 for the savage assault on the 23-year-old woman who came to be known the world over as Nirbhaya, the fearless one.
After raping and brutalising the woman, they dumped her on the road and left for dead on the cold winter night. Her friend who was with her was also severely beaten and thrown out along with her.
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