Sentencing in Delhi Gang Rape Case Postponed: Local Reactions

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
September 11, 2013 5:07 am Last Updated: September 11, 2013 12:58 pm

PONDICHERRY, India—An Indian court delayed to Friday sentencing four men convicted in the Delhi gang-rape case. 

The court mulled over the sentence on Wednesday in a packed court room in Saket, New Delhi.  The public has been demanding the most stringent punishment possible. 

“My thoughts right now are that these people should be hanged, without any delay. But that would not be justice enough—justice would be when such incidents never take place again,”  said Pondicherry-based writer and educator Puja Narula. 

Earlier on Tuesday, after 130 hearings, according to the Indian broadcaster CNN-IBN, the Delhi court held the four men guilty of the gang-rape and brutal murder of the young girl popularly known as “Braveheart.” Out of the total six culprits, one killed himself while in jail in March this year and another was sentenced as a juvenile to three years of reformation last month.

After the four were convicted on Tuesday, the public started to react on various social media platforms and public forums.

In an interview with Epoch Times, Archana Kapoor, an activist from Haryana said: “I was hoping for an early verdict. However, I think in the present system, nine months would be considered early. I am still upset about one of the rapists being let off with just three years of punishment—that too in a juvenile reformation home with all  the comforts.

“He was old enough to rape and assault a 23-year-old girl, but too young to be hanged! The system should have found a way to punish him more severely. It was a heinous crime, and the punishment should be so exemplary that it serves as a deterrent for others who may nurse evil thoughts.”

India had erupted into nationwide protests after the brutal gang-rape and the Indian government responded by initiating measures for better protection of women around the country, particularly in the national capital. However, the rape and assault cases of minor girls and women has continued largely unabated around the country since the incident. 

Claudia Barbara Tanna, a resident of Mumbai, said: “These four men are a product of the society around them. They resemble, quite frankly, a lot of Indian males in their thoughts and acts. Sadly, they have been brought up with all the wrong influences, be it the parents, peers, … [or] Bollywood.”

While the court mulled over the sentence on Wednesday, Indian news channels  reported public reactions from outside the court and reactions from public figures around the country. Since Tuesday, a large crowd has held silent protest outside the court demanding the death sentence for the culprits. 

Narula said: “Justice would be when such incidents never take place again, and for that we need an immediate scientific education on all platforms of life about how much rapes are a mental and physical injury on the person on whom they are perpetrated. This can only happen if the children, irrespective of their social, financial, or religious backgrounds, are saved from such abuse, which in turn creates these monsters of the world.”

Many activists around the country have demanded better education, social values, and stringent laws for better protection of women.

“There are layers of this problem which would not get resolved just having four men hanging,” Narula said. “But it would definitely send out a strong message.”