Juvenile convict slumps into silence
New Delhi: The 18-year-old juvenile convict, the juniormost among the accused in the Dec 16 gang rape and said to be "most brutal of all", sunk into silence Friday as he was told about the death penalty awarded to his four cohorts in the dastardly crime.
According to sources in the reformatory home, the juvenile looked shocked when he was told that death penalty has been awarded to the other accomplices. "He was told an hour after the verdict," a source told IANS, speaking only on condition he was not identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media. "The minor (he is now 18) knew that the sentence was to be announced today (Friday), though he did not seem very keen to know about it. He took his proper diet and remained calm," said the source on condition of anonymity.
The juvenile was six months short of 18 years at the time of crime and, according to Indian law, a juvenile cannot be named and has to be a given chance to reform. Sources in the reformatory home in North Delhi where he is serving his three-year term, said that the juvenile has been placed on special watch. He has been kept at a special reformatory home run by the Delhi government.
He was taken there Sep 1 after the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) held him guilty and sentenced him to three years of reform stay. He will spend a little more than two years in the home, as he was kept in a juvenile home during his trial period. He had faced as many as 17 charges under the Indian Penal Code, based on an inquiry report submitted by the police to the JJB. From the time he was admitted, he has been lodged in a separate room and kept on special watch so that no one can harm him or he should not be able to harm himself. He does not talk much with other inmates, said the source. The staff members of the home keep tab on his every activity.
A native of Uttar Pradesh, the juvenile had moved to Delhi at the age of 11 and was doing odd jobs. He was apprehended after the incident from Anand Vihar in east Delhi as he was trying to flee to his village in Uttar Pradesh. Six people, including the minor, were arrested in the case. While accused Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur faced trial in a fast track court in Saket in south Delhi, the juvenile's case was heard by the board. Ram Singh was found hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail during course of the trial. The reformatory home has three types of accommodation for inmates, including a special one for those convicted of heinous crimes, where the minor has been kept.The room is not isolated, but is also not part of the general quarters where the other inmates live in groups.
A male teacher comes to teach the juvenile everyday. He has studied till Class 3 and is being imparted more education, the sources said.