New Delhi: In the wake of the verdict in the December 16 gang-rape case, the parents of two convicts on Friday cried foul and alleged the punishment was given under media pressure.
"You have got what you wanted. Now never come here again," said Champa, mother of Vinay Sharma before fainting at the doorstep of her one-room shanty at Ravidas camp in South Delhi.
A fast track court handed down death sentenced to Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh for the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student inside a bus on December 16 last year.
The neighbors said the families of Pawan Gupta and Vinay had locked themselves inside their houses since early morning, anticipating "severest punishment" to their sons.
Families of Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, who also resided in the camp, were not to be seen. "Their parents had come for just two-three days after the incident happened and left. Since then, the house is locked," said a neighbour.
In the evening, a few hours after the verdict was pronounced, Pawan`s father Hira Lal stepped out of the home.
"My son is innocent. There is no evidence against him. He was with me on the evening of December 16, when police said the crime was committed. He has been falsely implicated in the case," Lal alleged.
Lal claimed the verdict was given under pressure of the media.
"My son was with me at the stall. He was detained the next evening from the shop itself. I don`t know who took his name, Ram Singh or Mukesh. They used to take fruits from our stall without paying money, due to which a few fights have taken place."
Pawan`s mother Indra Devi was angry with the media and charged it with being responsible for the punishment awarded to her son. "Now that all your demands have been fulfilled, go away from here. Has anyone been able to get his finger prints?" she shouted before locking herself once again in the house.
A team of policemen stood guard at the colony as scores of mediapersons turned up to take "bytes" from the families. There was a mixed reaction: while some called that justice has been done, others missed their neighbours.
"Pawan is a nice boy. We believe he is is not involved in the crime. His one younger sister died within a few days after Pawan was arrested," said a woman.
Ram Lal, a neighbour of Ram Singh, said "the verdict is right for the crime they have committed. However, there was not any previous police complaint against them."
Both the families have vowed to challenge the verdict in the Delhi High Court.
All the four convicts in the December 16 gang-rape-cum-murder case were awarded death penalty by a Delhi court today.