Free Press Journal

Nirbhaya gang-rape case: Juvenile rapist turns cook; is justice served?

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Today almost five years after the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case, the Supreme Court’s verdict to uphold the death penalty of four of her assailants, marks the end of a long battle for justice. The much deserved justice to not only Nirbhaya or her parents but also to millions of women like you and us. The brutal incident dates back to December 13, 2012, when a 23-year-old medical student along with her male friend was returning from a movie. The woman was assaulted and raped by six persons, including a juvenile, in a moving bus and later was thrown out on streets to die. On December 29, she breathed her last in a Singapore hospital. In 2013, a trial court had ruled and even the High Court had confirmed that the four accused – Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh and Vinay Sharma – should be hanged. But the four challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court and on May 5, 2017, the apex court gave the much awaited verdict. One of the accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in Tihar jail on March 11, 2013.

The court stated that the crime committed was rarest of the rare nature and the accused had no right to live on earth after committing such a heinous act. The case is actually ‘rarest of the rare’, the men not only raped her but also tortured and beated her with rod. She along with her friend was thrown out on the road, bleeding and broken. And among the accused was a juvenile, who was just few months away from turning eighteen. And his age has proved as a boon to him. Though he was convicted of rape and murder he was given the maximum sentence of three years in imprisonment. He was released in December 20, 2015. This sparkled nationwide protest, leading to the passage of the Juvenile Justice Bill, 2015. The bill now allows for juveniles 16 years or older to be considered as adults for heinous crimes like rape and murder.

Today, when one of his companion in crime has left his life behind and the other four are on a verge of leaving the world soon, he is working as a cook in a roadside eatery in South India. After his release in December 2015, he was kept in a rehabilitation centre for few days. In an interview to a news portal, his counselor was quoted saying that though he would contact his mother more often, there wasn’t any regret or any positive change in him. He without much efforts confessed his crime and explained in detail his role in the crime. The counselor also said that the juvenile also confessed that he was the one who convinced Nirbhaya and her friend to board the bus. There were also reports about him getting in touch with the 2011 blast convict.


While he was in Delhi’s shelter he was trained in cooking, tailoring and painting. After his release he chose cooking as his source of livelihood. And today he works with an eatery in South India. However, fearing a threat to his life the authorities did not disclose his current location.

There is not much known about the juvenile or his background. It was revealed that he was a resident of a remote village in Delhi and fled home when he was 11. His family consists of six members – a bedridden father, mother and younger siblings. The family still leaves in the same village. After coming to Delhi, the juvenile got in touch with the other accused. He would work with them, clean the vehicle and in-return they would provide him food.