It has been more than seven years since the nation woke up to the terrible news of brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. The young physio-therapy student, who succumbed to injuries two weeks later, left a mark – by evoking protests like never before, for women’s safety and human rights.
The six culprits were caught in less than a week, thanks to the flawless investigation under the leadership of then-DCP (South Delhi) Chhaya Sharma. Within a year, after long judicial processes, all of them were convicted and sentenced to execution, except one who was a minor at the time of committing the crime. (In a few weeks since they were jailed, one of the six convicts was found hanging in the jail cell. The minor was punished with imprisonment for three years, and is now free.)
The hanging of the four convicts left – Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh – was postponed multiple times since then, due to mercy petitions, court appeals, and stay orders. However, at 6am today, March 20, 2020, the four were hanged at Delhi’s Tihar jail – the first hanging since 2015, when 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon was hanged.
According to reports, the four convicts were kept in separate cells during the last hours; all four refused the routines of last wish and last meal too.
Despite our lives being take over by Coron Virus outbreak across the world, Nirbhaya hangings still got the attention of netizens. From the nation’s political leaders to the common man, the execution has brought out responses from across the spectrum of Twitterati.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out a message on women’s empowerment along with his response to the execution.
Justice has prevailed.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 20, 2020
It is of utmost importance to ensure dignity and safety of women.
Our Nari Shakti has excelled in every field. Together, we have to build a nation where the focus is on women empowerment, where there is emphasis on equality and opportunity.
National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma applauded those who are fighting for justice, and also pointed out the loopholes in the system.
this case also showed us the loopholes of legal system , which the four convicts took advantage of. Today as we know that finally the convicts got hanged, I hope this will play as deterrent for others, and no such case in future should take this long to deliver justice.— Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) March 20, 2020
Veteran actor Shefali Shah, who played the role of investigating officer in the Nirbhaya Case in Netflix mini-series Delhi Crime, summed up what most of India felt.
Thank God, Finally!— Shefali Shah (@ShefaliShah_) March 20, 2020
Anti sex trafficking activist Sunitha Krishnan, a gang-rape survivor herself, also shared her thoughts on the hanging:
Got up with the news of execution of four rapist/murderer in Nirbhaya case.Finally justice rendered in this horrendous case!— sunitha krishnan (@sunita_krishnan) March 20, 2020
Lawyer Karuna Nundy made relevant points in this short thread:
I see people saying the death penalty is wrong and only the women are getting deluged with wishes that they'd be raped or killed. Men, check your violence, other men, check your privilege.— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) March 19, 2020
Senior bureaucrat Supriya Sahu IAS also applauded the spirit of resilience among those who suffered the worst:
Tanvi Ratna, founder & CEO of Policy 4.0 think tank and blockchain policy/regulation specialist, also lauded the victim’s mother Asha Devi’s patience and fight for justice:
Woke up to the incredible news that all #NirbhayaCase convicts are finally executed! It took 7 yrs of constant legal battle by 2 brave women-the mother & lawyer-for this day to come. We, the Indian women, salute you! We will never forget or be defeated again.#NirbhayaVerdict pic.twitter.com/3BItnkOYOl— Tanvi Ratna (@tanvi_ratna) March 20, 2020
Actor Taapsee Pannu also had a word of respect and regard for Asha Devi.
It’s done. Finally. I hope the parents can finally sleep slightly better tonight after YEARS. It’s been a long long battle for them. Asha Devi 🙏🏼 https://t.co/XidMPTzKm4— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) March 20, 2020
What are your thoughts on the hanging? Tell us in the comments below.