The four convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case were executed on Friday, bringing an end to the seven-year struggle for justice led by the victim’s mother Asha Devi.
The hanging took place inside the Tihar Jail premises in the wee hours, at 5:30 pm. There were sounds of applauds outside the Tihar Jail premises as soon as the hanging took place. “Finally they have been hanged, it was a long struggle. Today we got justice, this day is dedicated to the daughters of the country. I thank the judiciary & government,” said Asha Devi, the gangrape victim’s mother, soon after the hanging.
Decks were cleared for the death penalty only last night, after the Delhi High Court dismissed the last-minute plea of the convicts challenging their execution. Advocate AP Singh, in his arguments before the court, said the matter is being expedited due to public pressure and the due time has not been given to the convicts to exercise their legal and constitutional remedies. The Delhi HC bench led by Justice Manmohan, however, did not find merit in the plea and decided to dismiss the same.
“You have to make out a case for stay. We cannot grant stay of execution without you making out a good case for it. Such a casual approach by you. At 11 o’clock we are saying please come to the point. You are not coming to the point,” the bench said in a late night hearing.
The four convicts – Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta – were held guilty of gangraping and murdering a 23-year-old medical student inside a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. The fast-track court’s decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2017.
After their execution was listed late last year, the convicts began filing a spree of curative pleas and petitions to annul the death penalty. The final phase of the legal battle was tiring on Devi — who broke down at one point during the courtroom and asked the judges to explain when her daughter would finally get justice.