4 Nirbhaya convicts hanged in Tihar Jail

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NEW DELHI: The four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case were hanged to death early this morning at Delhi's Tihar Jail. 

 

Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were executed at 5.30 am.

This is the first time that four men have been hanged together in Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates.

 According to the report from the Jail officials, the bodies were kept hanging for half an hour, a mandatory procedure after execution as per the prison manual. Later, doctor has examined the bodies and declared all 4 dead.

The executions were carried out after the men exhausted every possible legal avenue to escape the gallows. Their desperate attempts only postponed the inevitable by less than two months after the first date of execution was set for January 22.

In last-gasp attempts, one of the convicts knocked on the doors of the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court just hours before the hanging.

Hours before the execution, Pawan Kumar Gupta approached the Supreme Court challenging rejection of the second mercy petition by the President.

In an unprecedented late-night hearing that began at 2.30 AM and lasted an hour, a Supreme Court bench dismissed his last plea, paving the way for the execution.

It also refused to pass any direction allowing Gupta and Akshay Singh to meet their family members just before they are sent to the gallows.

There was cheer after the hanging as hundreds of people, carrying the national flag and shouting slogans of 'long live Nirbhaya' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', gathered outside the Tihar Jail since early hours of Friday. Some of them distributed sweets.

Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old paramedic, was brutally gang-raped on December 16, 2012, inside a running bus by six people in Delhi, and later succumbed to her injuries at a hospital in Singapore.

All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar jail. 

While Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case, the juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.

After raping and brutalising Nirbhaya, the men, one of whom was a juvenile at the time, dumped her on the road and left for dead. She was so severely violated that her insides were spilling out when she was taken to hospital. Her friend who was with her was also severely beaten and thrown out along with her. 

The brutality of the rape had shocked and stunned the entire nation and triggered massive protests which forced the government to tighten the rape laws.

On March 5, a trial court issued fresh death warrants for March 20 at 5.30 am as the final date for the execution.
 

With inputs from Agency

Image credit: News Nation

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