As Nirbhaya’s rapists and killers were hanged at Delhi’s Tihar jail on Friday morning after more than seven years, her mother Asha Devi said that “Justice has finally been done and women will definitely feel safer now.”
As the case took far too long, Asha Devi while talking to reporters today on the delay and the loopholes in the legal system said, “After a long agonising wait, my daughter has got justice,” and further added, “justice was delayed but not denied”.
“After the Supreme Court hearing last night, I came home and hugged a portrait of my daughter and told her – ‘beti nyay dila diya tumko’,” Nirbhaya’s mother said, adding, “March 20 should be celebrated as Nirbhaya Nyay Diwas (day of justice). This day will be written in history books.”
While referring to the delaying tactics used by the four convicts, she said, “We will request the Supreme Court to issue guidelines so that no one can adopt delaying tactics in such cases in future,” as the execution of death warrants was deferred thrice by court on various grounds.
According to Asha Devi, they would continue their fight for justice for India’s daughter, adding that women will definitely feel safer after this execution and it will also make parents teach boys to behave with women.
“Our faith in Constitution or judicial system was getting shaken, but that trust has been restored. This hanging will send a stern warning to criminals to dare not commit such acts,” Asha Devi said.
“My daughter will now rest in peace,” said the emotionally overwhelmed mother, appealing to all mothers to report sexual assault cases in family and society to support the daughters.
“We haven’t slept the whole night, running from high court to Supreme Court late night. But, finally, the moment has arrived. Our village in Ballia will now play Holi,” news agency PTI quoted Nirbhaya’s father and Asha Devi’s husband Badrinath Singh as saying.
A 23-year-old woman physiotherapist, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in south Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on December 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case.
This is the first time that four men have been hanged together in Tihar Jail, South Asia’s largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates. The executions were carried out after the convicts exhausted every possible legal avenue to escape the gallows. Their desperate attempts only postponed the inevitable by less than two months after the first date of execution was set for January 22.
The convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Pawan Kumar Gupta — were taken to the gallows a day after the Patiala House Court dismissed all their peitions and stated that their execution will take place as scheduled.
The bench also refused to pass any direction allowing Gupta and Akshay Singh meet their family members before they were sent to the gallows.