‘It’s like the life we had never existed... every day now passes in a flash’

The flood of relatives and neighbours has not made things smooth either. "People want to know what she said, what she wrote in notes, how long she had known her male friend, who was accompanying her. Relatives want us to ask doctors if she will be able to get married and have children. My parents have become tired of answering questions," he says.

Politicians have gone so far as to seek a meeting with the girl. "There is a risk of infection, we have said that repeatedly. But the requests continue to pour," a senior administrative official at Safdarjung Hospital said.

While some politicians paid solitary visits, others have been calling the family and landing at the hospital every day. "They are protesting outside the hospital, calling us at odd hours, telling us they will pay us for her medical treatment. Each one speaks to the doctor, gets a new update, and calls us. While we appreciate the support, it gets scary sometimes," the brother says.

Meanwhile, the family's efforts are concentrated on keeping the victim as guarded from the hue and cry as possible. While she wants the accused to be hanged, the brother says, she is also scared.

"She does not know her intestines have been removed. She doesn't even know the extent of the public outcry," says the brother. "Even when her friends or relatives come to visit, she asks us how much they know. When she hears of politicians coming, she gets scared. She keeps asking my mother if she has told anyone what happened."

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