All 4 Nirbhaya Convicts’ Bodies Handed Over to Kin for Last Rites

The executions were carried out after the men exhausted every possible legal avenue to escape the gallows.

3 min read
Composite image of the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case convicts.

The bodies of the four Nirbhaya gang rape and murder convicts were handed over to their respective families for last rites on Friday, 20 March, after the post-mortem was conducted at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in Delhi, jail officials said, according to PTI.

The four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were hanged to death at 5:30 am on Friday, ending the seven-year-long quest for justice.

According to a senior jail official, Akshay's body will be taken to his village at Aurangabad in Bihar.

Meanwhile, the family members of Mukesh will take his body to Rajasthan and the bodies of Vinay and Pawan will be shifted to their houses at Ravidas Camp in south Delhi, PTI reported, quoting officials.

Jail officials said the bodies were kept hanging for half an hour, a mandatory procedure after execution as per the prison manual.

"After the doctor examined the bodies and declared all four dead, they were sent to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for the post-mortem. Later, their bodies were handed over to their families," Director General of Tihar Jail Sandeep Goel said, according to PTI.

All Possible Legal Avenues Exhausted

After exhausting all legal remedies to escape the noose, the four men, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, who brutally gang-raped a 23-year old physiotherapist student in a moving bus in Delhi, were hanged.

Their desperate attempts only postponed the inevitable by less than two months after the first date of execution was set for 22 January.

The Supreme Court rejected Pawan Gupta's plea challenging rejection of mercy plea by President.

In an unprecedented late-night hearing that began at 2.30 am and lasted an hour, a Supreme Court bench dismissed his last plea.

Finally Got You Justice: Nirbhaya’s Mother

Soon after the execution, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said "We will request the Supreme Court to issue guidelines so that no one can adopt delaying tactics in such cases in future,".

While interacting with the media the teary-eyed mother said “Our daughter is no more and won't return. We started this fight after she left us, this struggle was for her but we will continue this fight in future for our daughters. I hugged my daughter's picture and said 'finally you got justice”.

“Our wait for justice was painful and agonising. We appeal for observing this day as Nirbhaya ‘Nyay Diwas’ (day of justice).”
Nirbhaya’s Father

Timeline of the Case

On 16 December 2012 a 23-year-old woman was brutally gangraped by six men, one of whom was a juvenile at the time. Nirbhaya was so severely violated that her insides were spilling out when she was taken to hospital. She died in a Singapore hospital after battling for her life for a fortnight.

Six people, including the four convicts and the juvenile, were named as accused.

While Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail days after the trial began in the case, the juvenile was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.

The road to the gallows was a long and circuitous one, going through the lower courts, the high court, the Supreme Court and the president's office before going back to the Supreme Court that heard and rejected various curative petitions.

The death warrants were deferred by a court thrice on the grounds that the convicts had not exhausted all their legal remedies and that the mercy petition of one or the other was before the president.

On 5 March, a trial court issued fresh death warrants for 20 March at 5.30 am as the final date for the execution.

(With inputs from PTI)

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