LUCKNOW – Delhi gang rape victim’s parents, reacting on Wednesday to Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s call for naming the anti-rape law after her, said they would have no objection to the move if the law is tough and deters criminals from “destroying lives of other daughters”.
“We will have no objection if a stringent rape law is named after our daughter. Her death has done irreparable damage to our family, but her struggle can now be a lesson for the entire country,” said the father of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim who died in Singapore on December 30.
However, the Union government appeared cautious with a spokesman saying the minister of state for human resource development is yet to raise the issue at an appropriate forum.
Tharoor had tweeted “… she should be honoured and the revised anti-rape law (should be) named after her”.
He got support from former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati who suggested an all-party meeting be convened to take a decision.
Speaking to TOI, Nirbhaya’s father emphasized that he had not given any undertaking to anybody in the government or outside to make their daughter’s name public.
He added, “If the government wants to set up a medical college or medical institute in her memory, we will welcome it. As a medical student, she was keen on serving society. Such a gesture would honour her memory,” he said.
The parents were initially hesitant to react to Tharoor’s tweeted statement. It was upon reflection they decided that their daughter’s gruesome death must not go in vain.
“It has been very difficult coping with her death. Our children are badly affected; they’ve saved a lock of her hair in her memory. We console them but they break down at the smallest reminder of their older sister. She will never come back but such a decision will help.”
On January 1, the family, in the presence of the entire neighbourhood, immersed her ashes in the Ganga.
“There was a moment when my son would not let us immerse the ashes. We had to console him. Only then did he quiet down. It has been an extremely difficult time for our entire family,” her father said.
After the news of her name being made public went viral on social networking sites on Wednesday, legal experts said Section 228 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) allows one to disclose the identity of the deceased victim, but only if the parents of the victim give their permission.