New Delhi, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- The four convicts in the notorious 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape and murder case were hanged on Friday after seven years of a slow judicial process, including numerous appeals and mercy petitions.
The convicts were hanged at around 5.30 am (00:00 GMT) in Delhi’s Tihar jail, a day after a court on Thursday refused to stay the death warrants of Mukesh Singh, 32, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31.
“Justice has been done. The nation got justice today,” Asha Devi, the mother of the victim — who was named Nirbhaya (The Fearless One in Hindi) by media outlets – told reporters. “It was a struggle of seven years. I thank every citizen of this country as well as the government. The hanging was delayed but I am happy that finally they have been hanged.”
This was the first time that four people were hanged almost simultaneously at Delhi’s Tihar prison complex, with the hangman being summoned from the nearby city of Meerut. It was also the first execution in India in five years, after the state hanged Yakub Memon in 2015 for his involvement in the terrorist attacks that killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993.
The Supreme Court had also rejected multiple last-minute appeals filed by the convicts after the president turned down their mercy pleas.
The family and lawyers of the victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student who was gang-raped and tortured in a moving bus in December 2012, had reacted with anger and frustration on Mar. 2 when the executions had been postponed hours before they were set to be carried out.
This was the third deferral of the executions, which had earlier been scheduled for Jan. 22 and Feb. 1.
“The postponing of the hanging shows the failure of our system,” Devi had said.
The defense team of the four convicts chose to file separate and multiple petitions in order to try and delay the executions.
Six people, including a juvenile, were convicted for brutally assaulting Nirbhaya on a bus while she was returning home from a movie theater with a friend on the night of Dec. 16, 2012.
The victim died 13 days later in hospital in Singapore, where she was flown to for emergency medical treatment.
The driver of the bus and main accused, Ram Singh, supposedly committed suicide in jail in 2013, while the sixth convict was a minor who was sentenced to three years in a correction facility and freed in 2015 after completing his term.
The horrifying nature of the attack sparked a wave of mass protests and fueled a debate on the discrimination and violence against women in India.
According to the most recent government information, 33,658 cases of rape were reported in India in 2018 — amounting to almost 100 cases every day. EFE-EPA