Yesterday, an Indian juvenile court handed down the first conviction in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus. He was sentenced to three years in a reform home. Three years in a reform home for raping a woman so brutally that she succumbed to her injuries and died. This is not justice.
The three year sentence was the maximum the defendant faced, because he was tried as a juvenile. He was 17-years-old when the rape occurred. The parents of the victim had been petitioning for him to be tried as an adult, insisting he was the most brutal of the victim’s attackers.
These parents have gone through hell twice now; once when their beautiful daughter was essentially raped to death, and now again when they are forced to sit by while her most brutal attacker is basically set free. This is unconscionable.
This is completely unacceptable to us,” Badrinath Singh said. “We are not satisfied with this outcome. He is virtually being set free. This is very wrong.”
“No family should have a daughter if this is the fate that lies ahead for women. In this country, it is crime to be born a girl,” he said.
What kind of message does this send in a country that has such a huge epidemic of sexual violence? This sentence is tantamount to a slap on the wrist. Four of the other attackers are facing the death penalty. One of the six was found dead in his jail cell in March.
Indian law forbids the publication of the names of rape victims, even if they die. In a country where victims and their families are shamed by rape, the victim’s father demanded his daughter’s name be made public “to give courage to other women.” I’m sick over what they have had to endure and I hope they get some peace in the form of the harshest sentences possible for her other attackers.