No protests raging on Delhi streets for this little ‘Nirbhaya’ now?

Brutally assaulted 13-year-old lies critically injured at AIIMS, brings back horrific memories in national capital


In March this year, four men, convicted for the brutal gangrape and murder of  young woman in Delhi, were hanged as punishment for a crime that shook the National Capital region, and the nation, and even brought about an ammendement in the anti-rape laws. She came to be known as Nirbhaya, the fearless one, the new law too bears that name: The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (Nirbhaya Act).

For days, after the horrific act went viral on the news, citizens poured out onto the streets protesting against the crime, and even the Congress-led Delhi government, seeking speedy justice for the victim, who succumbed to her injuries. Six men were arrested, and convivted, one was a minor, and another died by suicide in jail. Seven years after they committed the heinous crime, the remaining four convicts, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, and Mukesh Singh were sentenced to death by a trial court in 2013, and hanged in March 2020. 

The hangings were ‘celebrated’ by those who believe that a death penalty detters future criminals, and Delhi will be safer for women. Did it work? Clearly not. 

After the convicts were hanged, the  CM had tweeted, “Today is the day to take a pledge – that now we will not let others be fearless. Police, courts, state government, central government – everyone has to take a pledge that together we will remove the loopholes of the system and will not let this happen to any daughter in future.”


The worst example of that ‘pledge’ failing has come to light this week. Another unfortunate Nirbhaya like case has happened in the National Capital. The survior here is a 12-year-old child, who is now said to be under treatment, but in a critical condition, at AIIMS. However, this time around, no one is out protesting on Delhi’s streets. The lack of public dissent and the silence of civil society, under the Covid-19 cloud, no calls are being made for the resignation of the Police commissioner, or the chief minister, or any Union minister. Nor is the incumbent Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanding that Delhi Police be brought under the administration of Delhi Government. 

According to NDTV, the man accused of brutally raping the child, has been identified as 33-year-old Krishna. He already has four criminals cases, including one for murder registered, against him in the past. The news report said Joint Commissioner of Police Shalini Singh alleged the accused had entered the house with an intention to loot.

The child was sexually assaulted at her West Delhi house on Tuesday, when her parents were at work. According to a news report, the child was attacked on her head and face and was later found lying in a pool of blood by her neighbours. The Indian Express reports that the entire neighbourhood is in shock and the children there are kids terrified since the attack.

A neighbour recalled to the reporter that he heard the child screaming for help, “she was on her balcony, covered in blood.”  All the child could tell the elderly neighbour was that she had been beaten up badly, before she collapsed. The neighbour alerted the landlord, and others, who rushed the girl, reported IE.

However, her injuries were so severe that the police were called and the child was taken to AIIMS. The landlord told IE that most of the residents of that neighbourhood  work at nearby factories, and leave their children alone at home. The victim and her family hail from Bihar and have lived in the locality for over a decade stated IE. 

Another neighbour told the newspaper that the victim played with the other kids on the terrace as since the lockdown, the children are not allowed to go to the park. 

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal met the girl’s father at AIIMS on Thursday, he has also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family. 


The assault also drew condemnation from the Congress and  Bharatiya Janata Party.


According to the Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha, “CM Arvind Kejriwal has urged the Police Commissioner that toughest punishment should be given to the culprits and thorough investigation should be conducted.” Chadha added that, “the Kejriwal government will not tolerate such barbaric assault and stringent punishment should be given to the culprits.” 

The Delhi unit of Congress staged a protest at AIIMS and raised slogans against the CM. Perhaps in an attempt to remind him of the time when the Nirbhaya case was political fodder too.



This too was countered by Chadha who “said that the Congress party neither has empathy towards the victim nor they have any empathy towards the suffering of the citizens of Delhi.” Chadha added, “The Congress party is doing such condemnable acts only to gain political score. Such a random, arbitrary and vague attitude of the Congress party is very dangerous. They have insulted the elected Delhi Chief Minister and the other people who were visiting the family.”

The Congress, meanwhile,  continued its protest, outside the CMs house on Saturday.



Up in Arms: A look at protests that rocked India in 2019
Delhi rape case: Four convicts executed
WCD Ministry gives unsatisfactory answers on efforts to protect women and children
Revisiting the Justice Verma Committee report of 2013: #JusticeForRapeVictims



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