The four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case were hanged this morning. It was a deadly crime that shocked India where Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old young medical student, was thrown from a moving bus in Delhi after being brutally gang-raped. Nirbhaya subsequently died of her injuries.
The Supreme Court after a midnight hearing rejected a last-minute plea filed by the convicts seeking a review of the death penalty. The lawyer of the convict cited coronavirus for the lack of proper documents for a hurriedly-filed appeal. The four men, Akshay Kumar Singh (31), Mukesh Singh (32), Vinay Sharma (26), and Pawan Gupta (25) were hanged at 5:30 am at Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
An official said, the convicts had not expressed any last wish or will to authorities. They hardly slept and spent the last few hours in isolation in separate cells, barely eating. One of them begged for his life as he was led to the gallows. Since last night, the entire Tihar jail was locked down and a few other prisoners barely slept ahead of the first execution since 2015.
They were woken at 3:30 am. The four men refused to have their breakfast which was their last meal before being taken to the gallows. They were asked to take a bath but all of them refused. The doctors in the jail did a medical check up of the four men. During the execution five people witnessed the hanging, the jail superintendent, deputy superintendent, the resident medical officer, the district magistrate and another jail staff member.
Jail sources said, before he was taken to the gallows, Vinay pleaded with jail officials and sought forgiveness. Earlier in February, Vinay attempted to hurt himself by banging his head against a wall in his cell. As per the protocol in the Delhi Prison Rule, their body kept hanging for 30 minutes after which a doctor declared them dead.
The dead bodies of the four Nirbhaya convicts have been taken to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital where a team of doctors will conduct post-mortem examinations. The bodies of all the four Nirbhaya case convicts will be headed over to their families after post-mortem examinations are completed. Delhi Commission of Women chief Swati Maliwal stated that the execution is a victory of the whole country and appealed to create a stronger system. .
Asha Devi, the mother of the victim interacted with the media shortly after the four convicts were hanged. She thanked the judiciary and the government for ensuring that the rapist of her daughter was executed. “It may have taken time, but justice was finally delivered,” she said.