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Delhi snatched everything away: Nirbhaya's parents seek time-bound justice

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New Delhi, Dec 16: It has been seven years to that fateful day when their daughter - who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' - was brutally gang-raped and thrown off a bus, but her parents still await justice. The tag of rape capital became all the more pronounced after the Nirbhaya incident but her parents say it is a pan-India problem and cannot bring themselves to hate the national capital, which snatched their child.

"Delhi snatched everything away. But we cannot hate Delhi since our state Uttar Pradesh has also been seeing such incidents. There is no place in the world where we can go where such incidents do not happen. You cannot hate the entire world," says Nirbhaya's mother. But they hope and pray that things improve for the better.

File photo of Nirbhayas parents

In the last few days, they have seen a bit of hope, with reports saying the four accused in the case might be hanged soon. As Nirbhaya's mother puts it, "We are hopeful. We have been waiting for it. It is not easy till the time we get their death warrant and the date."

The 23-year-old paramedic student's parents have not lost faith in God, despite facing so much. "I have believed in karma for the last seven years. I have the support of God. I didn't lose faith in him. Of course, there are questions like 'Why did we have to face this? '" Her father says they believe in doing good karma.

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While they might be closer to getting justice, they said their fight for other 'Nirbhayas' will continue. "With the hanging of the four accused, Nirbhaya will get justice. But there are many Nirbhayas in the country. We will fight for other daughters too," says her father. The last seven years have given the couple a lot of experience and they now understand the loopholes of the criminal justice system and how to tackle them. He said their fight ahead will centre around time-bound justice.

"There is no time-bound procedure for filing mercy of review petitions. There should be a fixed duration of cases," he says. He says it is understandable that trial courts take time because they have to hear both parties and examine the evidence, but high courts and Supreme Court should not take time since they only have to examine the judgement of the lower court.

"It should not go on for long and should be made online. Cases in HC and SC should not go on for more than a fortnight," he adds. When talks about instant justice arise, there is also talk about the Hyderabad encounter, where four suspected rapists were shot dead in an encounter by police, which also saw celebrations there. Do they agree with such a thing? "Whatever punishment they got it was not for burning that daughter so justice was not done," says Nirbhaya's mother.

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"The reason people celebrated was that justice is delayed and they felt at least somewhere it was delivered on time. Even I had rejoiced at that time," she says. For seven years, her parents will not have to go through the same trauma that we are going through, she says. "If you look at it from the legal point she did not get justice but at least her family would be at peace that they are no longer alive," she says.

Talking about her family, Nirbhaya's mother said they had to send their sons out for studies as they were quite depressed after the incident. "But her memories give us the will to fight. The people have supported us," says the mother. She says parents have a huge role to play in shaping their children and telling them to respect women. Although it has been seven years since laws were made, the mentality is yet to change, she says. "Boys are not questioned when they step out late but restrictions are imposed on women. We always prioritised our daughter over our sons," she said.

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