Seven years and three months later, on March 20 the four convicts in the Delhi 2012 rape and murder case were brought to justice and hung to death in Tihar jail. Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were executed on Friday at 5.30 AM, after a long delay attempt. The executions were carried out after the men exhausted every possible legal avenue to escape the gallows. Their despairing attempts only pushed the inevitable by less than two months after the initial date of hanging was set for January 22, 2020.
This was the first time that four men were executed together in Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates. According to the jail manual, the jail superintendent oversaw the testing of the ropes and also inspected the gallows a day before the execution. This was followed by a dummy execution--a dummy or a bag of sand weighing 1.5 times the weight of the prisoner was hanged and dropped between 1.830 and 2.440 meters to test the rope.
A guard of not less than 10 constables, warders, and two head constables, head warders or an equal number from the prison armed guard, were also present. The families of the prisoner were not not permitted to witness the executions. All other prisoners will be kept locked till the exercise is over and the bodies removed from the prison.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Tihar central jail ahead of the execution on Friday morning, carrying placards in joy to celebrate the historic moment. 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. Three hours prior to the execution, Supreme Court on Friday put a full stop on the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case by dismissing a plea of one of the four death row convicts against rejection of his second mercy plea by President Ram Nath Kovind.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gang-raped and brutally 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)