India has executed four men 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 yesterday at Tihar jail in the Indian capital, the head of the prison, Sandeep Goel, said, in India’s first use of capital punishment since 2015.
The four hanged yesterday were gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Thakur, fruit seller Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, unemployed. They were all sentenced to death by a fast-track court in 2013.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Twitter post said, “Justice has prevailed.”
“It is of utmost importance to ensure dignity and safety of women,” he said.
Hundreds of police were deployed outside the jail to control a crowd that waited to celebrate the execution. Some held placards that read “Justice for women” and “Hang the culprits”, Reuters news agency reported.
The crime, which happened on the night of December 16, 2012, sparked enormous protests and global outrage. The victim was dubbed Nirbhaya — the fearless one — by the Indian press, as she could not be named under Indian law.
“Today, justice has been done after seven years,” the victim’s mother told reporters outside the prison. “I salute Indian judiciary and thank God for hearing our prayers . . . my daughter’s soul can now rest in peace.”
Six men were arrested for the brutal attack. One suspect, Ram Singh, was found dead in his jail cell in March 2013, having apparently taken his own life.
Another, who was aged 17 at the time, was released in 2015 after serving three years in a reform facility — the maximum term possible for a juvenile in India. — Al Jazeera