India hanged four men on Friday who were convicted of therapy and murdered a young woman on a bus in NewDelhiin 2012, in a case that shocked the world and brought shame to the country for its appalling toll of crimes against women .
The men were executed at dawn in Tihar prison, on the outskirts of the capital, said two prison officials.
Hundreds of police were deployed outside the prison to control a crowd waiting to celebrate the execution. Some carried placards that read “Justice for Women” and “Hang the Guilty”.
The crime, which occurred on the night of December 16, 2012, sparked massive protests and worldwide outrage. The victim was dubbed Nirbhaya – the intrepid – by the Indian press because she could not be named under Indian law.
“Justice has been served today after seven years,” the mother said to reporters outside the prison. “I salute Indian justice and thank God for hearing our prayers … the soul of my daughter can now rest in peace.”
Six men were arrested for the brutal attack. A suspect, Ram Singh, was found dead in his prison cell in March 2013, after apparently committing suicide.
Another, then 17, was released in 2015 after serving three years in a reform center – the maximum possible sentence for a minor in India.
On Friday, the four pendants were gym instructor Vinay Sharma, bus cleaner Akshay Thakur, fruit merchant Pawan Gupta and the unemployed Mukesh Singh, who were all sentenced to death by an accelerated court in 2013.
In 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty against four men, with judges ruling that the crime met the “rarest of the few” standard required to justify the death penalty in India.
The Indian president rejected the leniency applications of the convicted men after the Supreme Court rejected their requests to review the death sentences.
Attacked in a moving bus and left for dead by the side of the road, the victim, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, hung on for two weeks before succumbing to her injuries. She died in a hospital in Singapore, where she had been transferred in a desperate attempt to save her.
The outrage over his death has led India to enact tough new laws against sexual violence, including the death penalty for certain cases.
Still, a woman reported an average of 15 minutes in India in 2018, according to government data released last month, highlighting the country’s reputation as one of the worst places in the world for women.
Women reported nearly 34,000 grapes in 2018, barely changed from the previous year. Just over 85% have led to charges and 27% to convictions, according to the annual crime report published by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
Activists say government statistics underestimate the number of grapes because it is still considered taboo by Conservative Indians to report sexual abuse.