Dec 16 rapist more rude now: Welfare officer

A minor, who raped a young woman in a moving bus along with five men, has become “more rude now, more difficult” since a year of the brutal attack that shook the nation, say officials who interact with the now 18-year-old.

The youth remanded to three years in a special reform home by a juvenile court has not shown any sign of improvement, the official said.

“In the beginning, he accepted the charge that he was involved in the gang rape. But now surprisingly he denies his involvement. Also, there is no improvement in his behaviour. In fact, he is more rude now, more difficult,” a welfare officer of the Delhi government-run reformatory home said without wishing to be named.

“He is calm most of the time, but his behaviour has shown a change since the verdict. He is among those minors who take time to reform. It may take some more years. We are hopeful,” the officer said.

A native of Badaun in UP, the juvenile came to Delhi eight years ago and did odd jobs.
On December 16 last year, he went to meet prime accused Ram Singh and bought a bottle of liquor. After consuming it with Ram Singh and four other accused, they took a ride on a bus.

After some time they picked up the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend. The accused gang raped her and dumped her and her male friend on the road, bloodied and without clothes after an hour-long ordeal.

The girl died 13 days later due to grievous injuries she suffered.

The welfare officer said that on several occasions the boy used abusive language to the staff.

“If someone does not heed to his demand, he threatens that person. He threatens the welfare officers and tells them that he would complain about them to the magistrate. He knows that no one can harm him here in the reform home,” the officer said.

The juvenile, described by police as the “most brutal” of all the six accused, was put in the reformatory home in north Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tilla on December 22 last year, a day after he was arrested from east Delhi’s Anand Vihar bus depot when he was trying to flee.

A Juvenile Justice Board court on September 1 remanded him to three years in the reform home. Three years is the maximum punishment a minor gets for committing a heinous crime. The minor will be let off in December 2015.

Another officer said they have been trying to counsel the boy. At the time of the incident he was six months short of 18 years.

As Indian laws consider someone less than 18 years as a minor, the accused was tried by a juvenile court.

“We have tried many times to make him realise his crime. We have been counseling him. But he has not shown any remorse,” the officer added.

The reformatory home has three types of accommodation for inmates, including a separate one for those convicted of heinous crimes. The minor has been lodged in one of these special eight by eight feet room and is closely observed round the clock.

“For his safety, he has been kept separately out of reach of other inmates. We keep him under constant watch as we don’t want him to harm himself,” said another official.

The home houses 21 boys. On the steps they take to reform the minors lodged in the home, the officer said a psychologist interacts with the juvenile and then sends his report to the magistrate.

“The minor studies separately in his room. We want him to read and write,” the officer said, adding that the boy studied till class 3 and can now sign his name both in English and Hindi.

“We still have time. We hope the constant interaction with counsellors and psychologists will help him in the long run. Let’s see. Time will tell,” the officer said.

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