Delhi gangrape: Juvenile convict released as police clamp down on protests
Jyoti Singh's parents were joined by hundreds at Jantar Mantar and were going to march to India Gate before they were stopped.
The 20-year-old convict in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case was released on Sunday after serving his three-year sentence under the Juvenile Justice Act. He had, on Saturday, been moved to an undisclosed place and was placed under the care of a non-profit, NDTV reported. He is to remain there for several weeks, as under the Act, there has to be a post-care plan for a juvenile who has been released. The police have kept his whereabouts hidden saying there was a threat to his life. The authorities had insisted that he would be released, regardless of protests and petitions against the move.
Amid heavy security arrangements, the parents of 23-year-old Jyoti Singh, the gangrape victim, attempted to protest at India Gate against his release. They were joined by scores of others, who had earlier staged a protest at Jantar Mantar but were stopped by the police. According to television reports, they now plan to lead a candlelight march at 6 pm.
According to ANI, the victim’s parents had planned to stage a protest at India Gate earlier on Sunday, but were not allowed to as the police had imposed Section 144 in the area, which prohibits the assembly of more than 10 people. They were also preventing people at Jantar Mantar from demonstrating. “The right to protest is being denied,” the victim’s mother said.
Late on Saturday night, the Delhi Commission for Women had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the release of the juvenile convicted in the case. While the apex court agreed to hear its plea on Monday, they refused to stay the now 20-year-old’s release on Sunday.
In its appeal, DCW said that the Delhi High Court’s decision to release the juvenile had not been right, with reports emerging that he had been further radicalised in the reform home and will be a threat to the society. They emphasised that the juvenile’s state of mind had not been assessed or taken into account and said that his life could be in danger as well in his home village in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported. Unconvinced with this development, the victim’s father said, “There is no point of hearing the matter in the Supreme Court on Monday, when the convict will be freed today.”
According to the terms of sentence under the Juvenile Justice Act, the accused would be released after completing his sentence no later than 5 pm on Sunday. The Delhi High Court had also directed the Juvenile Justice Board to plan out the 20-year-old’s “rehabilitation and social mainstreaming.”