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Nayana's memories give me the strength to fight, says husband Abhijit Pujari

After eight years, all the three accused in the Nayana Pujari gangrape and murder case were sentenced to death on Tuesday. A Pune sessions court found them guilty of kidnapping, robbing, gang-raping and killing Pujari. Firstpost spoke with Nayana's husband Abhijit Pujari, who though satisfied with the sentence, believes the fight is far from over.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Abhijit Pujari. Image courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni

Abhijit Pujari. Image courtesy: Prachee Kulkarni

You fought for eight long years. Are you satisfied with the sentence?

Yes, I am totally satisfied. Even if it was a wait of eight years I feel we got justice for Nayana. I know that the sessions court's verdict is not the end. But I am ready to go through anything now. We will fight. This judgement has raised our hopes.

It won't have been easy fighting the case. How did you sustain your hopes?

I have suffered a lot. And I hope that no one else has to go through the same. There have been many ups and downs. There were times when I felt what was I doing? Is this ever going to reach any conclusion? I kept coming to the court attending the hearing and going back. But thinking about Nayana gave me the strength to fight.

One of the main accused was absconding for almost one and a half years. Was there a point when you had lost faith in the system?

It was brutal the way in which my wife was raped and killed. I had gone numb. I couldn't think of anything. But I fought back. Whenever such incidence occurs the family suffers the most. Only I know what I have faced. Even today, the accused did not show any remorse after the death penalty was announced. If this is the condition can we expect women to be safe?

Wasn't your mind volatile when you faced these men who harmed your wife? What boosted your will power all this while? 
Even if someone teases a woman in public place we react with anger. You can imagine what my reaction would've been when I came to know what they did to her. I could've lost the cool easily. But it was only because of Nayana's memories that I got the strength to fight. Her memory made me restore faith in the judiciary and I kept fighting for all these years. At times I felt that is this ever going to reach any conclusion? But I am satisfied with the verdict.

You have only won the battle but the war is still not over as they have other legal options available to them. How prepared are you to carry on your fight in the higher courts?

I am ready to fight. And I am not just going to stop without getting justice for Nayana. My family and I have decided that we will be forming a Nayana Pujari memorial trust. We had decided that we will announce this on the day this case reaches its conclusion. With the help of this trust, we will provide support to other Nayanas.

Nayana lost her life because the government and the society failed to offer one of the basic needs — security? Do you feel women are safer today when they go out to work?

After Nayana was murdered all the leaders announced that they will pass a new law and also new norms will be applied for the security of women in the IT sector. But not even 80 percent of the seem to be following the norms. The government needs to build a system to keep a check on them. Crimes against women are on the rise, particularly against women from the IT sector. The government needs to apply stringent laws. This will be true justice for Nayana.


Published Date: May 09, 2017 22:53 PM | Updated Date: May 09, 2017 22:55 PM

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