The father of one of the rapists sentenced to death by a Delhi court for the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic in the national capital last December, on Friday said he would explore the option of appealing to a higher court.
Saryu Singh, the father of convict Akshay Thakur, told reporters at Lahankarma village in Aurangabad district, about 225 km from Patna that the death sentence seemed 'unbelievable'.
Singh, a marginal farmer, said the option of going to a higher court against the verdict would be explored. The convict's two-year-old son sitting in his mother's lap seemed unaware of what was happening.
With eyes fixed on the TV in a small room in a thatched house at Lahankarma, mother Malti Devi and wife Punita Devi, who had recently observed the 'Teej' festival for the well-being of her husband, fainted as the news of death sentence by the Delhi court came in at 2:30 pm.
The convict's two brothers, Abhay Kumar and Vinay Kumar, who work in a private company in Gurgaon and had met Akshay Thakur in jail, were home to be with their parents.
A family member requesting anonymity said they had been praying for divine intervention. There were wails from Saryu Singh and brothers, besides other family members totalling nearly 30 as the TV flashed the news.
The family shut the door after the court verdict while some villagers tried to console the father. Rajendra Chaudhary, village headman of Ramnagar, under which Lahankarma village falls, said "the news is saddening."
Chaudhary said the villagers felt sorry for the grief-stricken family of Akshay Thakur but one had to pay for brutality done to others. Akshay Thakur's childhood friend and neighbour Santosh Mishra said, "He was a simple man when he was in the village.
"The environment of a big town like Delhi seems to have carried him away and turned him to a beast."