The court’s guilty verdict and death for the four members of the slum colony located in south Delhi for the brutal rape has brought relief to its residents.

Four of the six accused -- Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta alias Kalu and Mukesh -- belong to Ravidas Camp, located in RK Puram Sector-3. Ram Singh died in jail during the trial. Akshay Thakur and a minor, who don’t belong to the camp and were part of the crime, have been held guilty.

A resident of the camp Poonam said, “I am doing my graduation from Delhi University, but ever since after the December 16 case I have hidden my address from my friends. The four have brought shame to our colony. The name of Ravidas Camp now evokes raised eyebrows and stares from people,” said the young woman whose father is the pradhan or head of the shanty colony.

Another youth, Faizan, went back to his home town in Bihar after finding that the name of his colony was deterrence to getting a job. “I was not selected for the job of a bartender despite the employer’s assurances and despite my having more experience than the other candidates because I belong to Ravidas Camp,” Faizan said.

Faizan returned to his home when he learnt that the final verdict in the case would be announced.

The children of the camp, comprising around 250 shanty dwellings, are finding it tough to get admission in a local English-medium school. “Earlier, our children would easily get admission to the school, but now the school authorities are not ready to give admission to students from Ravidas Camp,” said Astha, a mother of two who belongs to the colony.

“I hope now after the verdict things will be better and the youth and children of this camp will not be judged with suspicion and prejudice,” Astha said.

Another woman of the camp, Sharmila, claimed that besides “outsiders”, or those not belonging to the colony, even police constables would taunt the residents, calling them

“Brothers and sisters of Ram Singh”. The youth, and even the girls, would be subject to taunts like “Behold, the new generation of rapists!”.

“I hope with the court’s final decision, the names of Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh will be obliterated from the camp,” she said fervently.

Ram Singh, the driver of the bus in which the crime took place, had been living in the colony for the past 14 years. Mukesh, his brother, lived in the same house. Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller, was living with his parents, while Vinay Sharma, 19, was living in the shanty town from childhood. He has two sisters and another brother.

On Tuesday, Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna found four accused - Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur - guilty of the brutal crime. A sixth accused, a minor was remanded in a special home by a justice juvenile board on August 3.

The six had taken turns to brutally rape and torture the young woman in a moving bus on December 16 night as she and a male friend were returning from watching a film at Saket Mall. The woman died of her injuries 13 days later in a Singapore hospital.

(Agencies)

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