Picture for representation
Picture for representation

Eight years after a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped and left to die in Delhi, her parents say that their fight is far from over and they will continue to raise their voice against such crimes.

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 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.

'Will not sit in silence'

Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi who fought for eight years to get justice said on Wednesday that she will sit in silence even though justice has been delivered to her daughter.

"It has been 8 years today since the heinous crime against my daughter was committed. Our case was clear and still it took 8 years to get justice. The government and courts needs to think about why it took so long, and make changes to the laws," Asha Devi said.

"I'll continue to fight for justice to all rape victims. Everyone together needs to raise their voice against rape," she added.

'Nothing has changed'

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.

Nirbhaya case

On the intervening night of December 16 and 17, 2012, the woman was raped and brutally assaulted in a moving bus by six men. 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.

The case sparked a nationwide outrage and the central government led by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh faced the wrath of the protesters.

She was airlifted to Singapore for treatment on December 29, 2012, at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. The 23-year-old came to be known the world over as Nirbhaya, the fearless one.

Four of the six 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.

Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were executed at 5.30 am on March 20.

(With agencies)

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