'Leave us alone, my son will die soon'

'Leave us alone, my son will die soon'

"Are you people happy now? Now leave us alone, my son will die soon," the mother of Vinay Sharma said in a sudden show of aggression to reporters soon after the court announced its verdict. Soon after, she fainted.

None of the other residents were speaking to the media who had descended in hordes with television crews outside this shanty town, inhabited mostly by working class people who are too poor to afford proper housing and settled for this makeshift "camp" in the south Delhi neighbourhood of R K Puram that has mostly housing meant for government employees .

Residents of Ravi Dass Camp were glued to the television as a Delhi court pronounced its verdict.

Just as the district court, Saket pronounced the death penalty on Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh and Akshay Kumar in the Dec 16 gang rape case, a silence hung over the colonyl. Barring Akshay, the other three belong to the colony.

The pradhan, or head of the Camp, Bihari Lal told IANS: "All the four are very young. They should not be given the death penalty. They should be given a chance to reform themselves."

Raju, a neighbour of Sharma, told IANS: "He (Sharma) is so young. I have seen him grow up here. It will be tough to see him go to the gallows."

Many people from nearby areas gathered at Ravi Dass Camp out of curiosity.

Surendra Mohan, a resident of Sector-1, R.K. Puram, said that he has known Sharma since he was a child.

"His innocent face never given me an inkling that he would be commit such a heinous crime at such a young age. I support the court's decision. As the accused did not show mercy to the victim the court's decision is perfect," Mohan told IANS.

Sharma's childhood friend Rajesh told IANS: "It would have been better if Vinay and the others had been given life imprisonment instead of death penalty. It will be terrible to see one of my close friends dying at such a young age, especially as he was about to get married this May."

Another friend of Sharma, Rahul, told IANS: "We are shocked at the court decision. We did not expect this."

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