Dec 16 verdict: Accused cries, victim's family demands death

Dec 16 verdict: Accused cries, victim's family demands death

Dec 16 verdict: Accused cries, victim's family demands death

There was pin-drop silence in Court No.304 of District Court, Saket Tuesday when Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna pronounced four men "guilty" of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist. Minutes later, sobs of one of the accused rang out in the packed room.

While the family members of one of the accused were stunned on hearing the judge's verdict and wept, the mother of the victim demanded death sentence for the four.  
The four accused -- Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur -- were found guilty almost nine months after the barbaric crime that outraged the nation and hogged international spotlight.

The quantum of punishment will be announced Sep 11.

Much before the judge was to pronounce the judgment, there was much activity outside the court. Soon it was packed with media persons, lawyers, the family members of the victim and those accused and hangers-on.

As the courtroom was small -- having a seating capacity of barely 40 -- policemen tried to bar some media persons. Soon heated arguments broke out. The electronic media was not allowed inside the courtroom.

But many people continued to hang around outside.

The judgment was to be delivered at 10.30 a.m. but was deferred to 12.30 p.m.

When the court reconvened, the judge, in less than 10 minutes, delivered the judgment that was much anticipated by the media and public in general.

The court's verdict left the four accused stunned, especially Vinay Sharma who broke down.

In one corner of the courtroom sat the parents of Mukesh and the deceased Ram Singh, who died in Tihar Jail. Both brothers have been accused of the crime.

Unable to make out what was going on, the parents sensed something had gone terribly wrong on seeing Vinay in tears. A moment later, their counsel broke the news to the aged couple, who froze in their seats.

As the four were whisked away by policemen, the now sobbing couple was escorted out of the courtroom by their lawyers.

Journalists who tried to talk to the parents were met with an emotional appeal bordering on the rude: "Kya chahte ho? Chhod do humein" (What do you want? Leave us.)
On the other hand, the mother of the victim was emotionally charged and demanded death for all the accused.

"I want death sentence for all of them and only then will I be at peace," she said.
"They don't deserve to live," said the mother who along with the victim's father and younger brother arrived at the court premises early in the morning.

Admitting that the last ten months have been agonising and traumatic, the family said that the incident would haunt them for the rest of their life.

As word spread about the verdict, people gathered in groups in and around the six-storeyed courthouse and avidly discussed the judgment.

A group of activists immediately gathered outside the court complex and chanted: "We want death for the accused."