Parents of the eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district last year expressed dissatisfaction with the quantum of the punishment awarded to the convicts by a special court hearing the case in Pathankot.
The couple is travelling towards Kashmir with their cattle as part of their bi-annual migration.
Talking exclusively to News18, the girl’s biological father (the girl was adopted by her uncle when she was six months old) said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had announced capital punishment for rapists of minors, why wasn't death sentenced invoked in case of his child's perpetrators.
“Modi had announced that if a minor is raped the culprit would be hanged. Wasn’t my daughter a minor? Why weren't those who wronged her hanged? They should have been hanged publicly,” the father said.
While stating that he or his wife can't do anything about it at the moment, he said their lawyers have assured them that the culprits would be hanged eventually.
“If the high court doesn’t make it happen, we will go to the Supreme Court,” the father said.
After all the harassment the family had to go through during the court trial, he was at least happy that the culprits have been pronounced guilty.
“We were being mocked and abused. We were told that we ourselves plotted this heinous crime on our own child. Today, truth has prevailed.”
The couple said they did not attend the court hearing “because there was no need for us.”
All this time, the eight-year-old's father told News18, he had not been able to sleep properly. “Yesterday (Monday), after I came to know the verdict, there was a happiness. We may not be content with the punishment but the criminals have been exposed before the world. The people who committed the heinous crime with my child have been named.”
He wished that no other girl ever met the fate of his child.
Relieved by the verdict, the girl’s mother said, “The court has given us hope that this institution and many other individuals don't shy away from standing with the weak. We don’t know how to read and write, but a lot of good people who do, helped us get justice. But real justice will happen if the culprits are hanged.”
She said the five-year jail term for the three police officers, who were held guilty of destruction of evidence, was too less.
“They should have been given more punishment. The one who tries to conceal crime is as guilty as the one who has committed it. We are hopeful that the high court would send the culprits to the gallows.”