“All four convicts Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma (2012 Delhi gang-rape case) were hanged at 5:30 am.’’ Their bodies were allowed to hang for 30 minutes before being brought down, said Director General Sandeep Goel confirming the death from Tihar jail.
Nearly after seven years, three months and eight days after a young medical student was gang-raped, brutally tortured and left to die in a moving bus in Delhi, the four adult convicts – Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma – alive who took part in the heinous crime were hanged till death at 5.30 am on Friday in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
The post-mortem of all the four will be carried out at Delhi Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital.
In her first reaction flashing a victory sign, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said, “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 and the government.”
Earlier, less than two hours ago at around 3:30 am on Friday, the Supreme Court of India had dismissed their final petition against the death sentence.
Before moving the Supreme Court, the convicts had petitioned the Delhi High Court too on the midnight of Thursday-Friday where their lawyer cited the coronavirus outbreak for the lack of proper documents with the hurriedly filed appeal. A third court had already declared that they had run out of all legal options of stopping their execution.
All the four criminals – Akshay Thakur (31) Pawan Gupta (25) Vinay Sharma (26) and Mukesh Singh (32) – were hanged at Tihar Jail where they had spent the last few hours in isolation. This is the first time in the history of India that four convicts were hanged at the same time.
They refused to eat and were awake the entire night, Tihar Jail officials stated. The entire jail was on lockdown through the night, and officials said, no prisoner in Asia’s largest jail slept.
The four filed multiple petitions over the past few months, managing to stall their execution thrice at the eleventh hour. “Send them to the India-Pakistan border, send them to Doklam (an area on the Bhutan-China border), but don’t hang them,” pleaded the lawyer of one of the convicts Akshay Thakur.
Akshay’s wife, who sought a divorce saying she did not want to be a widow, appeared to faint outside a court where the judge ruled that the convicts had reached the end of the road.
“Finally the convicts will be hanged. Now I will get peace. My daughter’s soul will be in peace,” said Asha Devi, the mother of the woman, who came to be known as “Nirbhaya” or fearless.
Several “dummy executions” had been carried out by the hangman, Pawan Jallad as petitions stalled the execution repeatedly.
There were two more people who took part in brutalising Nirbyaya – Ram Singh, who was till then an accused and committed suicide in his cell on March 11, 2013, while a minor served three years in a juvenile home and was then set free.