Four men convicted in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case were hanged in the darkness of pre-dawn on Friday, putting an end to the seven-year-long case. Following the executions, jail officials notified that for the first time in Tihar jail's history, four men were executed simultaneously.
South Asia's biggest prison complex, Tihar jail houses over 16,000 inmates. Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were executed at 5.30 am for the brutal assault in an empty moving bus on the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern who came to be known the world over as Nirbhaya, the fearless one.
A senior prison official said Pawan Jallad, a hangman from Meerut, reported to the Tihar Jail administration on Tuesday evening to prepare for the exercise. According to the jail manual, the jail superintendent oversaw the testing of the ropes and also inspect the gallows a day before the execution.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Tihar central jail ahead of the execution on Friday morning. The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by three of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case challenging the trial court order declining to stay their execution scheduled for early Friday morning. In a late-night hearing, a bench comprising Justices Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula dismissed the plea saying it was devoid of merits. While dismissing the plea, the bench said pending pleas of the convicts in various fora is untenable in law as a ground to stay the execution.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gang-raped and savagely assaulted in a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. She died after a fortnight. Six people, including the four convicts and a juvenile, were named as accused. Ram Singh, the sixth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case. The juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional.
(With PTI inputs)