The youngest suspect in the horrific gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in India’s capital last year was found guilty, but only sentenced to three years imprisonment, the maximum sentence under India’s juvenile law. The teenager was six months short of 18 years — the age of adulthood — when he committed the crime. He will spend the three year sentence in a correctional home.
The first verdict in the case, which made international headlines last year, sparked outrage because of what was widely believed to be a soft sentence for the juvenile.
The victim’s younger brother allegedly tried to attack him as the sentence was being delivered by the Juvenile Justice Board in New Delhi. He was restrained but broke down after coming out of the courtroom.
“The accused has been sentenced to three years, which is very less for him in comparison to the crime he committed. He should be hanged here only,” he said in tears.
The victim’s parents also broke down as they rushed out of the packed courtroom. “I was already dead on December 29, when I lost my daughter,” the father said. “The board should have sentenced the juvenile keeping in mind his crime and not thinking of his age at the time of offense.”
The victim’s mother refused to accept the sentence.
“There was no need for these proceedings. We have been fooled. I don’t accept the judgment,” she said.