Gangrape accused's family live in fear

Suicide by the main accused in the Delhi gangrape case has created fear in the minds of the family of another accused Akshay Thakur, who they apprehend, will meet the same fate.

"After learning of the suicide by Ram Singh I am terrified that my son will meet the same fate," Leelawati Devi, Thakur's mother, told the PTI here today.

Akshay Thakur, the fifth accused in the gangrape of a paramedic in a moving bus in Delhi, was arrested by police on December 22 last year from his home at Lahankarma village in Aurangabad district, about 150 km from capital Patna, where he was hiding.

His elder brother Abhay Singh said the family has not been able to talk to Akshay directly since his arrest.

"Ram Singh's advocate updates us over phone about his condition ... The family members are planning to go to Delhi after Holi to meet Akshay," he said. His tearful wife Puneeta Devi blames Ram Singh for the incident and rues her husband's venturing out of the village to earn his livelihood.

His one-and-a-half year old son Amit often asks for him, while his father Saryu Singh rues his fate. "We were a happy family but the incident (gangrape) has destroyed us," he said. The family is facing virtual isolation in the village with none of its residents willing to talk about him or his family.

"If somebody comes from outside and asks to be shown the home of Akshay Thakur, we feign ignorance," said a villager. The village has drawn a bad name and could have a harmful affect for its young brides and grooms, he added.

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