New Delhi: Families of the convicts in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case are being also looked upon as guilty and ostracised. The convicts were called inhuman killers, savages and hang them all was the chorus as death was the sentence served to them.
But condemned along with them were their families. "I'm also a mother, why am I not being heard," questioned convict Vinay Sharma's mother Champa Devi. "I'll kill my son and commit suicide, we do not deserve to live anymore. The judiciary gave death sentence to my husband, I want the govt to send poison to kill myself," said convict Akshay Thakur's wife Punita Devi.
Ravidass Camp, once just another slum in Delhi, became infamous for being home to the four convicts. Vinay Sharma's is the only family that still stays there. His mother even now is in denial.
"I cannot believe that my son is guilty, he could not have committed such a crime," Vinay Sharma's mother Champa Devi.
Twelfth pass Vinay, a gym assistant, was the family breadwinner. "He was a responsible boy who was keen to work hard & get his sisters married," Champa Devi said.
Vinay's sisters, who are yet to be married, are afraid to reveal their faces. One of them is diabetic. "He would get my medicine before I ran out of them," said one of his sisters.
In Karma Lahang village in Bihar lives Akshay Thakur's family - his wife, child, and parents. Once financially secure, today his young wife Punita is in despair about the future. "Who will fend for us now? Who will take care of my son," questioned his wife Punita.
"Their families are not guilty. There must be adequate provision to help them come out of the trauma and for their rehabilitation," said activist Ranjana Kumari.
The brutality of the gangrape prevents most from sparing a thought for the families of the convicts. Like the four men now on death row, their families too may always remain guilty just by association.