India: Rapist Demands to Stay Behind Bars, Fearing Mob Justice

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Courts in New Delhi have released the youngest convict from the 2012 gang-rape case despite protests from both the community and the convict.

“He fears for his life outside these walls. He thinks people will not let him live,” explained one senior officer at the facility that held the young man for three years.

He and five friends gang-raped 23-year-old Jyoti Singh on December 16, 2012, when he was only “a few months short of 18 years.” The case caught international attention highlighting the high number of rape cases in the Indian capital.

The Delhi High Court released him because “the law doesn’t allow keeping him in further detention.”

Instead, the now 20-year-old “signed a consent form to be in the care of” a non-profit organization (NGO). NDTV did not name the NGO, but those in charge explained that they will “make him self-sufficient and ready to rejoin society” while under constant supervision.

In response, the Delhi women’s commission filed a plea to the Supreme Court, which could change everything. The plea claims he “showed lack of remorse about his action and he has been further radicalised.” The Juvenile Justice Act states the criminal can only receive three years in confinement at correctional homes.

Indian law does not allow rape victims to be named, but Singh’s mother announced her name at a rally to protest against the rapist’s release.

“I say this in front of you all that her name was Jyoti Singh,” declared Asha Singh. “There is no need for us to feel any shame. It is the perpetrators of heinous crimes who must feel ashamed of themselves.”

Singh, along with her husband, led the rally at the India Gate monument.

“We want justice for our daughter,” exclaimed Singh. “I have come out on the streets because I am very disappointed today. We don’t know if we will ever get justice now. Our justice system has left us disillusioned.”

Police arrested Singh and others for violating “prohibitory orders in the high-security area.”

Singh and a male friend left a movie when the five men “tricked” them into stepping onto a bus. They took turns raping her for an hour, using rods they also used to beat her and her friend.

Singh told her family members how she attempted to fight back.

“She was very strong,” said her younger brother. “She always said on [sic] should never bear atrocities but fight against it.”

He added: “She thrashed and kicked them, too. They were boiling in anger about her defence so they decided to kill her.”

Singh succumbed to her injuries two weeks later. The courts convicted four men and sentenced them to death.


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