MEDAWARA KALAN, India: The anguish of the past three weeks has taken a heavy toll on Asha Singh. Her face looks drawn and exhausted, and she sits with a cheap printed shawl wrapped around her bird-like frame.
Ask her what she thinks should happen to the men arrested for gang-raping and murdering her daughter, Jyoti, though, and a sudden steel comes into the 46-year-old's quiet, hesitant voice.
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''My soul will never know any rest if the men who tormented my daughter are not hanged,'' she said. ''If they are not, the idea of them being in jail, eating and watching television, talking and laughing when my daughter has gone from this world will eat away at me. Living out the rest of my life will be very hard if those men are not hanged.''
That Mrs Singh has no interest in leniency is hardly surprising. The killing of her daughter has caused outrage across India - because it epitomised a culture of sexual violence that has long gone unchallenged, and because of its sheer, frenzied brutality. Using a tyre iron, the gang beat the 23-year-old student so badly that she died 13 days later in hospital in Singapore, having suffered massive internal injuries, brain damage and a heart attack. Yet her mother's rejection of clemency is also a way of fulfilling Jyoti's dying wish, whispered during one of her brief bouts of consciousness as she lay in her hospital bed.
''When one of few things Jyoti said to me was, 'Mama, I want them to be burnt alive,'?'' said her mother. ''What they did to her was so inhuman, I can't understand it.''
Jyoti's mother spoke at her family's home in Medawara Kalan, a farming hamlet in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It was in the hope of providing their children with better prospects that Jyoti's parents moved to Delhi before she was born.
After their daughter's cremation in Delhi a fortnight ago, the family returned to the village for the first time in five years. The constant presence of people is a solace, says Jyoti's father, Badri, 53. ''I couldn't bear the idea of walking into our house without Jyoti,'' he said. ''That's going to be the hardest thing for all of us.''