Two parents, Two pleas
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Two mothers sat on opposite sides of the courtroom. Both were teary-eyed after the pronouncement of the verdict in the December 16 gangrape case, where all accused were held guilty.
The family of the 23-year-old paramedic student, who died after she was brutally raped by six men aboard a moving bus, and that of two of the accused contrasted each other as they sat in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna on Tuesday afternoon.
While one set of parents were surrounded by police and well-wishers, the other huddled in a corner, hiding their faces from the swarming media.
As the judge pronounced his verdict and left the court, policemen surrounding Pawan, Vinay, Akshay and Mukesh — the four held guilty — hurried them out of the courtroom, leaving lawyers and mediapersons waiting for the detailed order. Vinay was seen breaking down after the judge announced the order. The other three seemed bewildered as they followed the policemen out of the courtroom.
The parents and brother of the paramedic student were sitting with the case's investigating officer, who asked the media to respect the privacy of the family and not ask for comments. The woman's mother only reiterated her family's demand for a death penalty.
The woman's brother, however, said he was disappointed that the accused had been "acquitted" of one of the charges. He was referring to the court's decision to not hold the accused guilty of causing death during a dacoity under Section 396 of the IPC. The court had noted that the death of the woman was a result of the injuries caused during the gangrape and assault, and was not related to the robbery.
The offence of dacoity had been added to the charges since the accused had robbed the woman and her friend of their phones, purses and other valuables.