Bangalore, Jan 6: A British newspaper has revealed the name of the 23-year-old paramedical student who was sexually assaulted by six men in a moving bus in Delhi on Dec 16, 2012. The Sunday People talked to the victim's grieving father at her native place, Ballia village in Uttar Pradesh, and published the interview today. [Update: UK daily revealed Delhi victim's name without father's nod?]
The daily quoted Badri Singh Pandey as saying: "We want the world to know her real name. My daughter didn't do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself. I am proud of her." The 53-year-old felt that "Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter."
Though Badri initially wished "to see the men responsible face to face", he is no longer interested in meeting them. "I just want to hear that the courts have punished them and they will be hanged," he said.
As for the punishment that should be meted out to the accused, her father stressed: "Death for all six of them. These men are beasts. They should be made an example of and that society will not allow such things to happen."
Badri recounted how the family fretted over the delay in the victim returning to their residence in Delhi on that fateful night. She had gone to see a film with her friend. When Badri reached home around 10.30 p.m, he saw that his wife Asha was very concerned about their daughter. "We started calling her mobile and her friend's mobile but there was no answer. Then at 11.15 p.m, we got a call from the hospital in Delhi telling me my daughter had been in an accident."
Badri rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital and found his daughter lying on a bed there. "I put my hand on her forehead and called her name. She slowly opened her eyes and started crying and said she was in pain. I held my tears. I told her not to worry, have strength and everything will be all right," he recalled.
A short while later, the police informed Badri that the men on the bus had brutally attacked his daughter and her male companion Awindra Pratap Pandey with rods before stripping them both of their clothes. Subsequently the brutes threw the badly injured duo out of the moving vehicle near the Mahipalpur flyover in the national capital.
About his daughter's valiant battle for life, Badri narrated: "Doctors did their best to save her. She spoke a few times but mostly through gestures. She had a feeding pipe in her mouth making it difficult for her to speak. But she did write on some paper that she wanted to live, she wanted to survive and stay with us."
Unfortunately, medical complications arising out of her severe injuries meant that even the efforts of expert surgeons came to naught. On Dec 29, she breathed her last at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where she had been shifted as a last resort.
"We're so devastated that she's gone. There's a huge void in our lives. She was the centre of our universe. Our lives revolved around her. Her absence is so painful, a future without her is unimaginable," Badri told the newspaper.
Since Badri requested Sunday People to avoid giving her picture with the story, the daily only carried photos of him and some of his male relatives.