Prayers, candle vigils mark first death anniv of Dec 16 victim

Last Updated 29 December 2013, 15:17 IST

Candle light vigils and prayers marked the first death anniversary of the December 16 gangrape victim with the girl's family announcing setting up of a trust in her name to help women facing atrocities.

It was on December 29 last year, the 23-year-old physiotherapy student lost her battle for life at a hospital in Singapore, nearly two weeks after being attacked and brutally raped by a gang of six men on a moving bus in New Delhi.

The victim's family held a prayer ceremony and made symbolic offerings to their ancestors at their ancestral village in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, praying for peace to their daughter's soul on the first death anniversary.

Her family has decided to set up a trust in her name to help women facing atrocities. The father of the victim said they would also seek the support of people to set up the trust.

The father said that they have yet not overcome the grief of the loss of their daughter and will sleep in peace only when all the culprits including the one, who was a juvenile at the time of the incident, will be hanged.

"The entire journey from Delhi to Singapore is still very much fresh in our memory. We will never recover ever," the father said with tears welling up in his eyes and voice choking.

A large of number of villagers also visited them and attended the prayer session.

However, the family regretted that despite repeated appeals to the political leaders to join the prayer session, none of them turned up.

"Inviting them was my duty which I did. If they would have come, it would have been great, now that they have not come, it is still okay. Others can forget my daughter, but she will be always alive in our thoughts," the father said.

Alleging that politicians only pretend, he said the promises made have not been fulfilled. The father rued that the victim's brother was yet to be given a job as promised by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

There was quite a disappointment among the villagers of Medawar Kala who also had expected some big leaders to come and join the occasion.

Meanwhile, in the national capital prayer meetings, candle light vigils and musical performances at Jantar Mantar marked the death anniversary of the December 16 braveheart.

The horrific incident had triggered massive public outrage in Delhi as well as across the country, forcing the government to enact stricter laws against sexual assault.

On the night of December 16, 2012, the 23-year old physiotherapy student was gang raped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in Delhi and dumped by the roadside along with her male friend who was also injured.

Four of her attackers were convicted and given the death penalty in September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to a detention centre.

The sixth man died in prison in March in an apparent suicide.

(Published 29 December 2013, 15:16 IST)

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