NEW DELHI, One of the six men convicted in taking part in the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape was released after serving a three-year sentence because he was a minor at the time of the crime.
Although he participated in the heinous act, he was tried as a juvenile and was given a three-year prison sentence because he was 17 years old when the rape occurred. The sentence was condemned by many as a severe miscarriage of justice. The other five men were given death sentences.
Multiple legal challenges failed to prevent the unidentified man’s release. He was handed over to a charity over fears for his safety and his identity will be changed.
One of the convicted men died in prison in 2013. Officials said he killed himself by hanging but his family and defense team said he was murdered.
The gang rape victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, was assaulted on a bus in Delhi. Her male friend was beaten and they were both thrown out after the attack. She later died at a hospital.
Asha Singh, the victim’s mother, said she promised her daughter she would fight for justice, but on Friday she said she failed. Multiple protests were held ahead of the man’s release.
“Crime has won. We have lost,” Singh said, BBC News reports. “Our efforts for three years have failed.”
“If they understood my daughter’s pain, if they understood my pain, the culprit would not be free,” she added. “He deserves the same punishment as the four who’ve been given the death penalty. It should set a historic example in society that if you treat women and girls this way, no one will be spared.”