Four convicted rapists of Nirbhaya, a paramedical student who was violated inside a moving bus by six people in New Delhi in the night of December 16, 2012, were eventually hanged in Tihar Jail early on Friday morning. The four — Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — met their fates after the execution of their death rows saw a topsy-turvy ride.
Another convict committed suicide inside the jail while the sixth, who was a minor at the time of committing the crime, served a three-year term in the correction home. Nirbhaya succumbed to her deadly injuries in a hospital in Singapore 13 days later.
The incident led to a massive outrage on the streets that forced the then government to make changes to the law. Yet, justice to Nirbhaya took several years to materialise and the hangings went ahead after the Supreme Court rejected a last-minute petition by convict Pawan against the rejection of his mercy plea by the President of India Ramnath Kovind. Sharma, Gupta and Singh even moved the International Court of Justice to save themselves from the death penalty but could not eventually.
Several dignitaries welcomed the move and among them was ace Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan. The southpaw, who has not played international cricket since the home ODI series against Australia in January because of a shoulder injury, tweeted: “Justice prevailed. RIP Nirbhaya #NirbhayaVerdict.”
Justice prevailed. RIP Nirbhaya 🙏🏻 #NirbhayaVerdict
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) March 20, 2020
Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t played for India since January
Dhawan, 34, was in good form when he last represented India internationally. He hit three consecutive fifties — one against Sri Lanka in T20Is and two against Australia in the ODIs — before hurting himself in the third game against the Kangaroos in Bengaluru. He missed the recently held tour of New Zealand and was recovering at the National Cricket Academy instead. He returned to the national squad for the three ODIs against South Africa recently but it was cancelled because of coronavirus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also welcomed the move on the Nirbhaya rapists by tweeting: “Justice has prevailed”. He added: “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,” tweeted PM Modi.
Justice has prevailed.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 20, 2020
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