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Little has changed; Modi should ensure women’s security: Parents of Delhi gang-rape victim

Saying that nothing has changed since the brutal Dec 16 gang-rape that shook the nation two years ago, the parents of the victim have now pinned their hopes on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to initiate a mission for women’s safety on the lines of his Clean India Campaign.

“Like our wounds, that are stubborn and refuse to heal, it seems people in this country do not want to change themselves as more and more rape cases are coming to light every day,” the father of the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist, who was raped and brutally assaulted on Dec 16, 2012, told IANS.

Despair echoed in the man’s voice. As he awaits justice from the case pending in the Supreme Court, he said: “Nothing has changed”.

The 55-year-old, who works as a porter at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, said all the new rules and laws are only on paper, and not a single step has worked towards changing the mindsets of people who sexually assault women.

The distraught father, in his conversation with this IANS correspondent, urged the prime minister to take steps to ensure the security of women.

“Most of the people have adopted clean habits from the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) started by Narendra Modi. He should take a similar step for the safety of women so that no one tries to sexually assault a women,” he said.

“Rapists and molesters should be given the most stringent punishment so that others get a lesson and no one has the courage to attack any woman in future,” the teary-eyed father said.

Asked about the Dec 5 Uber cab incident, where a 25-year-old business analyst was raped in a taxi, the man said: “The rapist driver had threatened the victim that he would insert an iron rod in her citing my daughter’s example, when the young woman resisted his attempt.”

“It comes out clearly that people like him have no fear of the law. If the culprits in my daughter’s case would have been punished, most of the rapes could have been avoided,” he said, seated in his modest two-bedroom house at Dwarka in west Delhi.

He moved to this government-allotted house four months ago.

“The hanging of the culprits is my last wish, so that others get a message,” he said, sounding hurt and angry.

The 23-year-old was raped by five men and a juvenile in a moving private bus on Dec 16, 2012. The accused dumped her and her male friend on the road – bloodied and without clothes after nearly an-hour long ordeal.

She battled for life for 13 days in Delhi before being airlifted for specialised treatment to Singapore, where she succumbed to her injuries.

The family is satisfied with the Sep 13, 2013, verdict of a Delhi trial court to hang the four convicted men. A fifth accused committed suicide in prison.

But they are still unhappy because the four rapists have not been punished yet as the Supreme Court is hearing their appeal against the death sentence, which the Delhi High Court had confirmed.

The victim’s mother, who sat next to her husband, listened silently, wiping her tears all the time.

She said the final image of her daughter was permanently etched on her mind.

“I can’t forget that evening when she left home. She waved at me and her last words were ‘Bye Mom! I will return in a few hours!”.

“But she never returned home,” the 51-year-old mother told IANS.

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