The four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case were executed on Friday morning in Tihar jail. Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that Nirbhaya convicts manipulated the system to delay capital punishment for seven years.
"All criminals who committed one of the most reprehensible crimes have been given capital punishment. I wish this could have been done earlier," said Prasad. "Today is also the day to reflect by the judiciary, government, civil society that should some people convicted of capital punishment be allowed to manipulate the system to delay it for seven years," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the hanging of all four death row convicts of the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case stating that "justice had finally prevailed." PM Modi said that ensuring the "dignity and safety of women was of utmost importance." He also remarked that people should focus on building a nation where there is "women empowerment and emphasis on equality and opportunity."
Justice has prevailed.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 20, 2020
It is of utmost importance to ensure 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.
"We all have waited so long for this day. Today is a new dawn for daughters of India. The beasts have been hanged," said Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi. After the Supreme Court's verdict, she went home and hugged her daughter's photo.
The hanging was carried out as per schedule after a three-judge Supreme Court bench rejected the final plea by the convicts' lawyer AP Singh to stay their execution in a late-night hearing. The four convicts, along with two others including Ram Singh and a juvenile, had raped and brutally tortured a 23-year-old paramedic student on a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012.
The victim died a few days later after battling for life at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital and later at a Singapore hospital. The case had created an uproar across the country, especially in Delhi where a large number of people came out on the streets, demanding justice for the victim, who was renamed as 'Nirbhaya' or the fearless.
(With ANI inputs)