All four convicts of Nirbhaya case were executed- Here's the trajectory of justice!

After three postponements, all the four convicts of the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were hanged to death in the Tihar prison complex at 5.30 am before the sunrise on Friday as scheduled in the fourth death warrant issued by the Delhi court.

The execution has delivered a conclusion for what has become one of the horrific sexual assault cases the country had witnessed and while the gallows hung them down, it had risen up the celebrations across the country as hundreds of people gathered before Tihar Jail complex and distributed sweets as the justice has been served for Nirbhaya, India's daughter. 

The four convicts of Nirbhaya case who were executed - File photo


Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26), and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were the four among the six convicts who were imprisoned after gang-raping and sexually assaulting a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in an empty moving bus in Delhi in 2012. The horrific crime had erupted series of protests across the country and demanded justice for Nirbhaya - the fearless one. The gang threw her out of the bus. She was severely injured and taken to the hospital. She was then transported to Singapore for further treatments. However, she has died after two weeks of battle.

The gang was arrested and lodged in the Tihar prison complex and the voices for justice got intensified across the country. During the prison captivity, one of the convicts Ram Singh had committed suicide inside the prison amid the trial while the other convict, who was juvenile, acquitted from the prison in 2015 nearly three years after being behind the bars. The rest four were in the Tihar jail and the Delhi court has pronounced the death penalty for the four convicts and as per the first death warrant, they should have been executed on January 22nd, 2020. However, the four convicts had begun their legal battles to stay off from the gallows. 

People distribute sweets outside Tihar prison after the four convicts were executed - March 20, 2020 - ANI Photo


Their counsel had moved back to back curative petitions, review petitions before the Supreme court and mercy petitions before the Indian President and the legal remedies they had in their accounts helped them to keep more breaths by delaying the execution. All the four had queued up and moved their mercy petitions to the President one after the other and the Delhi court had halted and postponed the execution three times. Earlier this month, the Delhi court has issued a fresh death warrant that the convicts must be executed on March 20th, 2020 at 5.30 am.

Their legal battles, however, neither lowered their sentence nor signaled them mercy. They were moving their pleas to the judiciary till their final hours and with the hope to stay alive, they made an unprecedented decision of knocking the doors of the International Court of Justice to intervene in the death sentence. They got nothing positive in return while the clock was ticking to the time to stand on the gallows. Hours before the execution, one of the convicts Pawan Kumar Gupta moved to the Supreme Court challenging the rejection of the second mercy petition by the Indian President. The Apex court heard his petition at 2.30 am on Friday, three hours before the execution time and his petition was eventually rejected bringing their legal battles to an end.

Asha Devi, Nirbhaya's mother, addressing the reporters after the execution - March 20, 2020 - ANI Photo


At 5.30 am on Friday, all four convicts were executed in Tihar Jail and this is the first time for Tihar jail, which is South Asia's largest prison, to execute the four convicts at the same time. Their bodies were kept hanging for thirty minutes as per the prison manual and according to Sandeep Goel, the Director-General of Tihar Jail, the doctor has examined the bodies and declared all four dead. Outside the prison complex, celebrations were on after the execution. Nirbhaya's parents said they will continue their fight for India's daughters.

The ambulance carrying the bodies of the convicts exits Tihar prison amid the security for performing autopsy - March 20, 2020 - ANI Photo


Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi told reporters that "We have finally got justice. We will continue our fight for justice for India's daughters. Justice delayed, but not denied". She stated that women will feel safer after the execution of the convicts. The reports say that hundreds of people gathered outside the prison carried the national flag, shouted slogans, and distributed sweets. After the execution, the bodies of the four convicts were taken to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in Delhi for autopsy and no relatives of the convicts were shown up to collect the body. According to ANI, Tihar jail DG said that they would cremate them if no one has claimed the bodies. Pawan Jallad, a hangman from Meerut, had executed all the four convicts. He said that he was happy to execute the convicts. After the execution, he has left for Meerut amid tight security. Prime Minister Modi has tweeted that "Justice has prevailed. It is of utmost importance to ensure the dignity and safety of women. Our Nari Shakti has excelled in every field. Together, we have to build a nation where the focus is on women empowerment, where there is emphasis on equality and opportunity".