Youngest Convict In Indian Gang Rape, Murder Released After Three Years

The youngest of six men convicted in the heinous Indian gang rape of a woman in New Delhi, which resulted in her death, was released on Sunday, December 20. According to an attorney, a court would not extend the sentence beyond three years, because it is the maximum time allowed based on the convict’s age.

The man’s name has not been released, because he was just shy of 18, when his crimes were committed. Five other men were also found guilty and sentenced to death for the gang rape, but none of the executions have been carried out. One committed suicide while in prison.

Subramaniam Swamy, a government leader, said the high court should not release the man, because he had been “radicalized” while in the juvenile home, noted the Times of India. An appeal regarding his release has been sent to the Delhi high court. Police accused the youth of extreme violence, stating he pulled out part of the woman’s intestines with his hands.

The parents of the victim, who became known as “Nirbhaya,” 23, were in the court when the decision was announced to free the juvenile. The mother cried and spoke out on the message the decision sends.

“Even after all our efforts, the juvenile convict will now be released. What message is this sending out to the public of the country? All I wanted was justice but crime has won today. There is politics in the country and us innocent people are always sacrificed.”

The Indian gang rape case was one that shocked the world when details were disclosed. The woman, who was called “Nirbhaya” (one without fear) as she fought for her life for 13 days, died of her injuries. On December 16, 2012, the victim, a trainee physiotherapist, and a male companion were on their way home from viewing a movie in south Delhi.

Nirbhaya was gang raped by six men on a bus. Both she and her male companion were beaten and left to die at a road side. She was initially treated in Delhi, then in Singapore. On the third anniversary commemoration, Ada Singh, mother of Nirbhaya, publicly disclosed her daughter’s name, Jyoti Singh, for the first time. By Indian law, rape victims are never named publicly.

Why should I hide her name? Why should I be ashamed of it? Those who committed that heinous crime on her should feel ashamed. The makers of this administrative system should feel ashamed.

Ada Singh was injured while protesting the release of the unnamed man.

There were only about a hundred people at the court house, which was in stark contrast to the thousands who protested shortly after the brutal incident was revealed. Calls for death of the perpetrators then resounded throughout the country.

Meenakshi Bhanja, a Delhi journalist, stated “Public memory is fickle. Has anything changed in India? I am sorry to say, no. Outrage over an incident doesn’t change the DNA of the society,” per CNN News.

Other young Indian women also voiced concerns. Kritka Dua, 22, said India has laws against rape in the books but law enforcement and judges don’t implement them.

She said, “Even we are at fault. The mindset has to change. How can anyone say that the answer to the problem is that girls should not go out?” This reference was to Indian political leaders in aftermath of Jyoti Singh’s rape, implying that if she had not gone out, she would not have been assaulted.

Dolly Kaushik, 22, said “Nothing has changed in India.” She added that in India, fathers rape their daughter, and most rapes occur inside the home.

More Indian gang rapes have occurred that garnered international attention. Swamy called the convicted juvenile who is almost 20 now an “animal” and said allowing him to return to society would be dangerous. Swamy further stated that the law should make provisions when youth commit heinous crimes.

[Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images]