| Mother of one of the gang-rape accused, Vinay Sharma, at her house in New Delhi on Friday. Picture by Prem Singh |
Patna, Sept. 13: Her patience gave way, her tears have now dried up.
Punita Devi, the wife of Akshay Thakur, who was awarded a death sentence on Friday, blamed the media for her wretchedness. She also accused the media of depicting the 23-year-old rape victim as the “Daughter of India”.
“Am I a daughter of Pakistan?” she asked the reporters.
She squarely blamed media hype for robbing her of her “suhag” by securing death sentence to her “innocent” husband.
Punita said the media had virtually launched a campaign against all the accused in the case, as if it was the first and the most heinous crime against women in the country.
“Was not any other girl or woman raped earlier?” she asked.
The young spouse of Akshay (28) said she got married in 2010 and her husband was implicated in the case in December 2012.
“He had gone to Delhi to earn a living for the family but he was accused of such a serious offence in which he has been awarded a death sentence,” she said.
The scene at her house at Lahang Karma village under the jurisdiction of Tandawa police station in Aurangabad, around 175km southwest of Patna, was heart-rending.
Wails of Akshay’s mother Malti Devi and other women of the village filled the air. Nobody was ready to accept that Akshay could commit such a heinous crime. The men pooh-poohed the unclenching police evidence to prove Akshay’s involvement in the crime.
His father Saryu Singh said he had sent Akshay to Delhi as the family was passing through an economic crisis because of drought for the past four years.
“I had to send him outside the state because there was no way out to compensate the losses that the family had to bear because of severe drought,” he added.
“The economic condition of the family is so weak that we can’t afford to challenge the verdict of the lower court. It is a double shocker for the family, which depends on agriculture only and has no other source of income,” he added.
The parents never visited the Tihar jail where Akshay was lodged after his arrest from his native village on December 21.
“I never went to Delhi to meet him. His two brothers met him in the jail though,” Singh said. The entire village plunged into a shock on hearing the news that their young lad would be sent to the gallows for his involvement in such a crime.
“It is shocking. But what is more gruesome is that the name of the entire village has been sullied because of the misdeeds of one person and that is Akshay Thakur,” said Arvind Paswan, the sarpanch of Lahang Karma village.
A relative of Akshay, however, said the verdict would be challenged in the high court. “We would go in for an appeal against the lower court’s verdict,” he said.