She was a 23-year-old paramedical student with lots of ambitions and dreams in her eyes. But, five 'demons' in the guise of humans ruthlessly butchered her life, her family and shook the confidence of every women.
On the ill-fated night of December 16, 2012, a heart-wrenching incident shamed the national capital, Delhi. Following the incident, Delhi even earned the shameful tag of "rape capital" of India and one of the most unsafe places for women!
What happened on the night of Dec 16 in Delhi?
As the nation observes the first death anniversary of the braveheart Nirbhaya in the brutal gangrape case today, we take a flashback of what exactly happened on the ill-fated night of December 16 in South Delhi, Munirka.
After watching a movie, the girl was waiting for a bus towards Dwarka, South-west Delhi (where she lived) along with her male friend at around 9.30 pm. Then, after a long wait for bus, they boarded a chartered bus in which there were six people including the driver.
Then, they reportedly started passing lewd comments at both of them and deviated the route while the doors of the bus were shut.
Then started the horrific, soul-stirring ordeal. The male friend of the girl was brutally beaten up by all accused with an iron rod, till he became unconscious. Then, the girl was also ruthlessly beaten up before being gangraped. She was so brutally sexually assaulted by all monsters, that it is hard to believe that humanity can stoop to such a barbaric level.
Then, after committing the dastardly act, both the victims were thrown out of the moving bus in a semi-naked condition, all bruised and battered. The driver even tried to drive the bus over the girl. But, her friend managed her to pull aside from being crushed under the bus.
Rage all over the country
The incident then took the form of a massive movement against the brutal gangrape. Raged people including activists, women and girls from the entire Delhi gathered at the India Gate and led-street protests demanding maximum punishment to all the perpetrators.
The incident, infact, led to protests not only across the nation but even in abroad. The inhumane incident shook the conscience of all.
Accused behind bars
After an year of the horrible incident, out of the six accused, one accused, (I would say, the most 'coward' as he chose an easy death for himself to escape from justice) 35-year-old Ram Singh was found hanging in Tihar jail on March 11 almost after a month of trial. He was said to be the main accused.
After his alleged suicide, the brother of the gangrape victim said, "I wanted him to be hanged...publicly. Him dying on his own terms seems unfair."
After a nine-month old trial, on September 13, the other four accused- Mukesh Singh (brother of Ram Singh), Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta were awarded death sentence by the Saket Court.
While pronouncing the verdict, the judge said, "it cannot turn a blind eye on the rising cases of sexual assualt against women" and that the incident shook the "collective conscience of the society".
The incident took the form of a massive movement against the brutal gangrape.
In Sept, the sixth accused, who was said to be a minor, was given three-year sentence by the Justice Juvenile Board (JJB). Although, three-year term is nothing in front of the inhumane crime he committed. It is said that the so-called juvenile accused was the most brutal among all accused.
Nirbhaya silenced forever
As the girl took her last breath on December 29 while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Singapore, the incident left the soul of all women (who have to travel alone or even if they are accompanied by a male companion) 'shaken and numb'.
On a very emotional note, I, being a girl, can imagine what pain the brave girl went through. The pain that could never heal was beyond any medical treatment. Her pain was, perhaps felt by all women of India.
Even though it has been a year of the shameful incident, the braveheart's family is still fighting the battle for a fair justice for their beloved deceased daughter.
Although the fast-track court has announced death penalty to all four accused, the pain in the hearts of her family members is perhaps not going to relieve, except a satisfactory balm, that will at least provide them a hope for justice.
Many Nirbhayas still alive
Unfortunately, even after the Delhi gangrape case, there have been thousands of rape cases in India since then. This harsh reality shows, that, how insensitive our society has become, that has terribly failed to control such shameful crimes against women.
Following last year's incident, various 'Nirbhayas' and 'bravehhearts' have succumbed to their injuries, inflicted upon them by rapists.
On her first death anniversary, we pray that Nirbhaya's soul may find peace and hope that her sacrifice should not go wasted.
Rest in Peace Nirbhaya...