As trials began in the Delhi gangrape case with an entire nation baying for the blood of the six accused, the families of the latter were still grappling with shock and disbelief.
Except for the relatives of Ram Singh and Mukesh Singh, the brothers who were also the primary conspirators, the kin of the other accused still seem to be in denial.
Deep inside Bihar, in Lahangkarma village, from where twenty-four-year old Akshay Thakur hails, his wife refuses to believe that he could have committed such a crime. New York Times' India Blogs reports that Thakur's wife Punita Devi, looks younger than the legal marriageable age of 18, and takes care of the couple's one-and-half-year-old son. She tells the NYT reporter that they were in love, that he used to call whenever he left and now the village has isolated the family over the incident.
The other accused, 20-year-old Vinay, who was a gym assistant, seems to have assured his mother that he had not done anything that will bring shame to his family. His mother is clinging on to that reassurance as her last hope. "He is a kid, he couldn't have done this," his mother tells Hindustan Times.
However, a sister-in-law of Ram and Mukesh Singh told reporters that they always kept a distance from the duo as they had a reputation of being trouble makers. HT quotes her as saying:
"We were not on speaking terms with them. They used to live in a different house. It was very common to hear stories about them getting into fights and stealing from people. No one was very happy with their behaviour and their parents went back to their village two months back because they were fed up of their behaviour."
Read the full NYT article here.