Four hanged over 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape, murder

Asha Devi (C), the mother of a gang-rape victim, reacts after her daughter's rapists were hanged in New Delhi on March 20, 2020.
Asha Devi (C), the mother of a gang-rape victim, reacts after her daughter's rapists were hanged in New Delhi on March 20, 2020.
Image: STR / AFP

Four men were executed in India yesterday for the gang-rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012 that sparked huge nationwide protests and international revulsion.

The four were hanged before dawn at Tihar Jail in the Indian capital, the head of the prison, Sandeep Goel, said AFP, in India’s first execution since 2015.

“All four convicts were hanged at 5.30am,” Goel said.

The brutal attack on Jyoti Singh sparked weeks of demonstrations and shone a spotlight on the alarming rates of sexual violence and the plight of women in India where about 95 rapes are reported daily.

The execution sparked small celebrations outside the prison early yesterday.

“We are satisfied that finally my daughter got justice after seven years,” the victim’s mother Asha Devi told reporters outside the jail. “The beasts have been hanged.”

“Today all Indian women received justice,” Delhi resident Meena Sharma said, clutching an Indian flag.

“I came here at about 3am. I waited here as today is a great day for us.”

Celebrations were also held in Singh’s ancestral village in northern Uttar Pradesh state where her extended family members exchanged sweets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded to the execution on Twitter, saying “justice has prevailed”.

“It is of utmost importance to ensure dignity and safety of women,” he tweeted.

But rights NGO the International Commission of Jurists condemned the executions, calling them “public theatre that risk celebrating and perpetuating violence at the expense of the rule of law”.

Singh, 23, was returning home from the cinema with a male friend on the evening of December 16 2012 when they boarded a Delhi bus, thinking it would take them home.

She was attacked by five  men and a 17-year-old boy.

They knocked the friend unconscious and dragged Singh to the back of the bus and raped and tortured her with a metal rod.

Singh, nicknamed “Nirbhaya” (“fearless”), survived long enough to identify her attackers and all six were arrested. Four were convicted in 2013.

A fifth, the suspected ringleader, was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide, while the 17-year-old spent three years in a juvenile detention centre. — AFP

X