I thought he was dead, says mother of juvenile accused

FP

On the outskirts of a village in Badaun district of western Uttar Pradesh, a woman waited five years for word on her son, the eldest of her six children. She consulted the village astrologer who told her she would soon hear from him. When there was still no word, she gave him up for dead. Until three policemen from Delhi showed up at her hut last month and asked her if she was the mother of a boy who had left home eleven years ago.

The juvenile among the six arrested for the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman who died in a Singapore hospital, 13 days after she was assaulted on board a moving bus in south Delhi, had snapped all contact with his family five years ago.

Ever since she was told that her son had been arrested in a gangrape case — police claim he was the most brutal of the six — the woman has not stirred out of her home. It's a hut with no roof, only a plastic sheet as cover. Residents of the village say the family of the juvenile is the poorest among them.

When The Sunday Express met the juvenile's mother, she said her son used to send them Rs 600, twice a year.

But that stopped five years ago. Neighbours told her he had been spotted at a hotel in East Delhi where he worked as a waiter. Later, they told her they couldn't find him.

She said he left the village eleven years ago. "His father is mentally ill. He was the eldest, so he went to Delhi to work at a hotel with some people from the village. Rs 600, twice a year, was a big help," she said.

"The others returned to the village but he did not. Later, someone told us he was working as a bus cleaner. But that was six years ago. After some time, we lost all contact. I thought he was dead," she said.

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