Nirbhaya’s father on Saturday said senior lawyer Indira Jaising should be “ashamed” of herself for suggesting pardon for the four death row convicts in his daughter’s gangrape case and said his family isn’t as “large-hearted” as Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
He also demanded an apology from Ms Jaising, who is known for her stand against capital punishment.
In a tweet on Friday, Ms Jaising said while she fully identifies with the pain of Nirbhaya’s mother, she urges her “to follow the example of Sonia Gandhi who forgave Nalini and said she didn’t not (did not) want the death penalty for her”.
“We are with you but against death penalty,” she said.
Nalini Sriharan was sentenced to death in former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. Her death penalty was commuted to life term after the intervention of his wife Sonia Gandhi, who urged for clemency on account of the fact that Nalini had a young daughter who was born in jail.
Nirbhaya’s father said this is a “wrong message”.
“She (Indira Jaising) is a woman herself. She should be ashamed of her comments and apologise to Nirbhaya’s mother,” he told PTI.
“We have been fighting the case for seven years. We are common people and not politicians. Humara dil Sonia Gandhi ji jitna bada nahi hai (We are not as large-hearted as Sonia Gandhi),” he said.
“Such mentality is responsible for the rising number of rapes,” he added.
Nirbhaya’s father said his wife held similar views.
He said they had seen Ms Jaising in court but never interacted with her.
“Why did she have to say something and face insult when she has nothing to do with the case?” he asked.
On Friday, a Delhi court issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts — Vinay Sharma, 26, Mukesh Kumar, 32, Akshay Kumar Singh, 31 and Pawan, 25 — in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.
Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh.
Nirbhaya’s father said he is hopeful of justice finally being delivered.
A 23-year-old paramedic student, who came to be known as Nirbhaya (fearless), was assaulted and gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people, including the four death row convicts, before being thrown out on the road.
She died from injuries a fortnight later at a hospital in Singapore.