Patna, Sept. 10: She is seeking divine intervention after her husband was declared guilty today in the December 16 gangrape and murder case.
Punita Devi, the wife of one of the convicts, Akshay Thakur, broke down after she was told that a special Delhi court found the four men guilty of gang-raping and murdering the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus.
Thakur’s fate would be decided tomorrow when the court would finally deliver the quantum of punishment. “I am praying to the Almighty to help our family at this hour of crisis. People can only imagine the mental agony I am going through right now,” Punita told a select group of reporters at Lahang Karma village in Aurangabad soon after the verdict was pronounced.
Punita (23) said she still does not believe that her husband had committed the offence. “He had been very kind to me ever since we got married in 2010,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
“I want to see him. It would be tough to live without him,” she added.
A sense of agony writ large on the faces of Thakur’s other family members. His mother Malti Devi said no one in the village ever complained about anything regarding Akshay when he was in the village. “How can a man change in six months after he left the village in search of job?” she asked.
Malti added that if her 28-year-old son was awarded capital punishment, she would request the government to hang all the members of the family. “Hang all of us if he is awarded a death sentence,” she said.
Akshay’s father Saryu Singh, a farm labourer, still believes his son is innocent.
“My son has been falsely implicated in the case. He was at home on December 17 last year. I had handed him over to the Tandawa police on December 21 in the presence of the village chowkidar after the police raided my house in search of Akshay,” he said.
“Had he been involved in the crime, the Delhi police would have arrested him from the national capital itself. But that didn’t happen. I still believe he would come out clean in the course of investigation. I have faith in the judiciary and the government,” he added.
Akshay’s elder brother Binay Singh, too, defended him.
“Don’t be misled by the pucca house we live in. We don’t come from a well-to-do family. We still are farm labourers. But the family had never been in trouble because we don’t have criminal antecedents,” he said.
Akshay’s friend Bibhesh, who studied with him at a nearby government school, recalled that Akshay was a shy boy and “it was hard to believe that he had perpetuated the offence”. He, however, admitted that his misdeeds earned bad name for the residents.
The district administration has sounded an alert in and around Lahang Karma village, around 45km south of Aurangabad.