Dec 16 gang-rape victim’s mother pleads for justice

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) The mother of Dec 16 gang rape victim Friday pleaded, with tears in her eyes and folded hands, to the fast-track court to “give justice to her daughter”.

The mother of 23-year-old physiotherapy student, who was gang-raped by six men in a moving bus on Dec 16 last year, appeared before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna to depose as a prosecution witness in the case.

“Give justice to my daughter,” said the mother after her cross-examination.

She was cross-examined by the counsels of accused Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur.

Accused Mukesh’s counsel refused to cross-examine the mother saying that she had lost a daughter and does not want to hurt her feelings by asking questions.

During her cross-examination, victim’s mother said the victim was her eldest child and was studying at Dehradun and was in Delhi during her vacation from first week of November.

The victim’s mother said that on the day of incident, she (her daughter) told her that she would watch a movie with her male friend (complainant), adding that even earlier, her daughter sometimes went to watch movies at a cinema house.

She said she knew her daughter’s male friend for the last two years as he used to visit his uncle who resides in their neighbourhood, adding that her daughter had talked to her friend on phone prior to the incident but never talked with his parents.

Detailing the sequence of events that fateful day, she said her daughter left the house at 4 p.m., telling her that she had to make some purchases and would also watch a movie. “When she left the house she was carrying her mobile and an ATM card.”

“When she did not return till about 9 p.m., then I made a call on her mobile. However, her phone was switched off. My husband then returned from his office and I informed him that she (daughter) had not reached the home. We both were very worried about our daughter,” the mother added.

She said she had also called her daughter’s friend, but his phone was also switched off, adding that her son had his mobile number.

The mother said that at 11 p.m., she received a call from the police that something had happened to her daughter and asked her to come to Safdarjang Hospital.

“At about 11 p.m. I received a call from the PCR informing me that some incident had happened with my daughter and I was asked to come to Safdarjang Hospital immediately. I, along with my husband, rushed to the hospital and there I found my daughter admitted in emergency (ward). I could not talk to my daughter at that time as she was being taken for operation,” she said.

The victim’s mother, who reached the court with her husband and son, told the court that her daughter was not able to speak on Dec 26 before she was taken to Singapore, and the last time they talked was on the night of Dec 25.

“I went to Singapore with my daughter on the night of Dec 26 and we reached there on Dec 27. My husband, my two sons, doctors and medical staff went with us,” she added.

The victim died on Dec 29 in Singapore and her body was handed over to the family at Indira Gandhi International Airport here, the mother said in her cross-examination.

Her statement was recorded by police in the hospital, she added.

The 23-year-old woman was brutally tortured and gang-raped in the bus by five men and a juvenile.

The juvenile is facing proceedings before a Juvenile Justice Board, while the four other accused were put up for trial in the fast-track court. One of the accused allegedly committed suicide in jail.

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