This piece of work is purely an imaginative one, and no personal offense intended. I hope this article will serve its purpose of being a reminder of the dire need to suppress the rape norm of the country.
Note 1: The piece, though inspired by a real incident, is based on the author’s understanding and speculative imagination regarding the issue.
Note 2: Some descriptive content of this article might be disturbing.
Lately, I have been wondering what it would look like if Nirbhaya’s apparition would have written a diary entry on the current developments of her case. What would it have read? Would our nation’s daughter be happy the way the legal proceedings are going on? Would she be content watching from the skies above, her perpetrators being let alive for so long after having committed such a heinous crime? What if she decides to take the law in her hands and punish her offenders all by herself? Whoa! Spooky enough? And then one fine day the reports come that her seven long years of waiting is finally over and her monstrous offenders have eventually been rightly punished for what they have done. What would be her emotions, then?
Maybe this is what her diary entry would look like…
March 3, 2020
Standing in the premises of the Supreme Court, yet again the judge announced for the third time the hanging of all four of my offenders had been deferred. With tears in my eyes, I thought- it has been more than seven years since the incident, and I am still waiting for justice to be delivered. My mother, with folded hands and tears in her eyes, was pleading before the judge that she has been awaiting the hanging of the culprits for years now. It took them only a second to destroy me and my dreams, and it is like taking forever to take them to the task. Everything is in place; evidence is there, culprits are known, and yet I am still at the losing end. The ordeal seems to be never-ending. Delhi, the place where I was born and raised, its residents are no short of being called ‘my people’, and yet the city and its society failed me. Miserably!
On that fateful evening of December 6, 2012, me accompanied by my dearest buddy, Avanindra, after watching the movie Life of Pi, we were on our way back home when the unfortunate incident happened. We were lured into boarding an empty charter bus from Munirka (South Delhi), apparently heading to Dwarka at around 9: 30 pm. But, when the bus started deviating from its normal route and its doors being shut, that’s when Avanindra started getting a weird feeling of something going wrong.
As I remember, there were six of them, all of them drunk, including the driver, and one of them looked minor. When Avanindra confronted them, we were taunted for being outside at this late hour. As the argument progressed, a rough struggle ensued between them, and he was beaten, gagged, and knocked unconscious with a metal rod. And then I was dragged to the rear end of the bus, beaten up and brutally raped by the men while the driver kept driving. The lights on the bus were turned off, which made my vision blurred. But I was in the complete sense of the barbaric acts being committed on me during the entire nightmare. And it was a nightmare. A seemingly never ending nightmare, and a perennial waiting for justice.
I could feel the coldness of something metallic being inserted forcefully into my genitals. The mere thought sends shivers through my spine. I felt a searing pain run through my entire living, especially my abdomen and intestines. I could even feel one of them pull something rope-like out of my bruised body, probably my intestines. At that intense moment of pain, I attempted to fight off my assailants with all the energy I could muster by biting them. Later, I and Avanindra, partially clothed, were thrown out at a spot near the Mahipalpur flyover from the bus. I was unconscious when I was brought to the hospital, and I was immediately put on life support as I held on to my precious life. And finally, on December 29, after a persistent battle of 13 days for staying alive, I finally succumbed to my injuries and called it quits at the Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore. On December 30, I was laid for the final rest. The end of the story. No, a new beginning. The beginning of a life of the Nirbhaya spirit – with an insatiable hunger. The insatiable appetite for revenge and vengeance. Waiting for justice.
Shortly after my death, with the help of CCTV footage on the main highway NH8, the police were able to nab the driver of the bus within 24 hours, and the others were identified with the help of descriptions from Avanindra. The minor, who lured us into boarding the bus, was tried separately in a juvenile court and, after serving his imprisonment of 3 years at a reform home, was released. I was numbed totally after that verdict. He was the most brutal face of that night, and he was let free just because he was a minor. The driver, the prime accused, who was exempted from riding the bus in the Delhi city and picking up public passengers because of its tinted windows, was found hanging from the ventilator shaft in his Tihar prison cell. Some say it was a suicide and yet others claim it was a planned murder. Do you think I have a hand in that foul play? Maybe yes. Would you blame me for having taken such a step even if I did? No. You probably should not.
Now the other four remain. Still alive. They are mocking at the entire legal system of the country with a stout belief that no one would touch them. They still claim that they are innocent and were wrongly framed in the case by presenting evidence to prove so. They have been playing all sorts of tactics to delay their hanging, and they have exhausted all the legal remedies (mercy pleas) too. They had the audacity to approach the International Court of Justice and the country’s Human Rights Commission as well for their savage acts. Maybe I will have to do something about it. What can I do? How do I go about it?
I was brought back to the court premises, still wondering what gimmicks they would play next. For how long will this legal tug-of-war go on? The judge announced once again that on March 20, all the four of them would be hanged together in the gallows of the Tihar Jail under extraordinarily high security. So, which means the waiting for justice has not ended yet again. I hope against hope that this would be the end of my waiting for justice. What if it is not? Would I have to resort to some extreme measures?
March 20, 2020
What? Another mercy plea in the 12th hour seeking a review of the death penalty?
Plea rejected. The order to execute the death sentence has been passed.
Tears in my eyes. My wait for justice would end soon. I am a silent spectator to every move, every preparation before they would breathe their last breath. The jail doctors have checked their weight and their vital signs. They are declared fit to be hanged. I can see the nooses kept ready by the hangman. I smiled.
Those monsters are still pleading to let them free even in this last hour. This should serve as a lesson to anyone who would dare to even think of committing such a crime.
The convicts have been made to wear white cotton clothes and their faces covered with black cloth.
They were brought to the gallows and made to stand on the platform, and the noose was placed around their neck by the hangman.
5:30 am– The lever was pulled. The platform under their feet gave away, and their bodies stood suspended. Initially, the bodies wriggled awkwardly, and then I watched with glee as life slowly left their body. And then complete silence.
6:00 am–The bodies are still hanging.
The bodies were then removed, and the jail doctor confirmed their deaths.
My parents’ persistent struggle with the legal system has finally got its due result. They have smiles on their face. They have got their due share of happiness.
And me? Yes, my Shraddanjali has been done. I would soon return to my humble abode as a totally different person—a much happier and gratified me. Keep me in your heart always as a reminder to never let such incidents recur.
Featured Image Credits: Wikipedia