International desk – India has hanged four persons for gang-rape and brutal murder of a medical student on a moving bus, a crime that sparked nationwide protest, in Delhi seven years ago.
The execution took place at 5.30 am local time Friday, less than two hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the final petition of the convicts.
According to NDTV broadcaster, the convicts had filed petition with the Delhi High Court as their lawyers cited coronavirus outbreak for the lack of proper documents for the appeal.
The convicts – Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32 – were hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail, where they spent the last few hours in isolation in separate cells.
One of them begged for his life as he was led to the gallows, the broadcaster reported referring to an unnamed official.
The entire jail was on lockdown since last night, and officials said, few other prisoners in Asia’s largest prison facility could sleep a wink ahead of the first execution since 2015.
The convicts were woken at 3.30 am, around the time they learnt they had reached the end of the road in courts.
“We all have waited so long for this day. Today is a new dawn for daughters of India. The beasts have been hanged,” said Asha Devi, the mother of the young woman who came to be known as “Nirbhaya” or fearless.
After the Supreme Court’s verdict, she went home and hugged her daughter’s photo.