After Union Minister Prakash Javadekar slammed the Delhi government for delay in the hanging of Nirbhaya's rapists, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, on Thursday, blamed the BJP for the same. Engaging in blame game politics, he said that the Kejriwal government had immediately rejected the mercy petition. With the Patiala House Court mulling a new execution date, Singh said that BJP must apologise for the lies it is peddling.
"BJP is directly responsible for delay in the hanging of the culprits. Law and order is completely under the control of BJP. We didn’t take a moment to reject the mercy petition. BJP should apologise for the lies they're peddling," he said at a press conference.
Earlier in the day, Javadekar stated that the state government's carelessness was reprehensible, while addressing a press conference. He pointed out that Tihar jail authorities had not notified the convicts of their legal options since 2017. He added that if they had notified in a timely manner, the convicts would have hanged long ago.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Delhi government told the High Court that the four rapists will not be hanged on January 22, citing the mercy petition by Mukesh Kumar which was pending. Refusing to interfere in the delay, the Delhi High Court refused to put a stay on the death warrant of Nirbhaya's rapists stating the petition is a strategy to 'prolong the matter'. The four convicts- Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) are to be executed on January 22 at 7 AM in Tihar jail. Currently, the Patiala House court which is hearing the petition has asked Tihar jail authorities to reply on the Prison rules in this case, after the Supreme Court rejected two convicts' curative petition.
23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.