New Delhi, Dec 20: He paints the picture of Cinderella, the one that he had smothered himself back in 2012. Described as the most brutal of the six persons who gangraped a medical student on a moving bus on December 16, 2012 and left her to die, the 16 year old leads an uncertain life now.
A nervous man, the then 16 year old will soon turn 19, but is showing symptoms of an insecured life. Lodged in a North Delhi reform home, he is said to be jittery and cagey at times.
He is usually glued to the television to see whether the world has forgiven him or not, scans through the newspaper every day to see his fate in the hands of law.
Authorities at the juvenile home at Majnu ka Tila say,"You see he knows there are people who are not satisfied with his punishment. He's scared of people coming to the home and protesting or trying to get inside and hurt him."
He is said to be growing as an introvert and quiet individual. "When he was brought here in 2013, initially he was scared stiff; It was like, ‘where have I come?' He watched TV constantly, checked newspapers - he wanted to know what would happen to him," officials said.
After he got news of the Juvenile Justice Act, he started acting arrogant and spoke proudly about that night. "Sometimes he told us tall tales of what he did - some of it was terrible and in some he claimed his innocence. We stopped paying attention to what he had to say, so he's gone quiet again," said a counsellor.
A classic example of children going stray, this boy stayed alone since 11 and had no family, no relatives in Delhi. He was without school for six year; however, he did not have any criminal records too. "In such cases, kids are liable to be motivated by peer pressure," said the counsellor.
The judicial officers take stock of his progress and observed that he is doing well."The judicial officers noted that he's been good for months now. He's learning cooking and painting. One of his paintings received a lot of praise from the judges and this encouraged him to continue with rehabilitation", said authorities.
While he is worried about his parents, he speaks much of his mother who had visited him at the home last year. However, a bigger problem lies with the counsellors here who believe it will be tough for him to be rehabilitated or get acceptance in the society or at least his village.
"We worry whether his village will accept him, whether he'll be able to find work. We can rehabilitate him to our best efforts but ultimately he is a person and he must survive among other people. It is of imperative importance that society accepts that he has served his time and allows him to re-enter," they said.