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Nirbhaya case: all legal routes closed, convicts will be suspended at 5.30 am tomorrow | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: All legal routes to escape the rope closed Thursday for the four men convicted in the Nirbhaya gangrape case who are now hours from being hanged, seven years and three months after brutalizing a young woman on a bus Delhi with a barbarity that shook the nation.

Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31), found guilty of trapping a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012 so savagely who died of his injuries a fortnight later, will be executed in the Tihar prison at 5.30 am on Friday morning.

Their death orders have been deferred by a court three times on the grounds that they had not exhausted all their legal remedies and that one or the other’s request for mercy was before the President.

On Thursday, however, all legal routes appeared to have been closed for all four men.

The Supreme Court declined to receive Mukesh Singh’s latest statement that he was not in town when the crime occurred. A bank of R Bhanumati, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna judges said they had exhausted all their remedies and that no new evidence can be found.

The higher court also dismissed Akshay Kumar’s appeal challenging President Ram Nath Kovind’s rejection of his second request for mercy, saying there was no basis for a judicial review of the decision.

On a parallel track, a Delhi court dismissed the appeals of Akshay Kumar, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma seeking suspensions for their execution.

With only a few hours to execute and without legal obstacles, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said her daughter’s soul will now rest in peace.

“Finally, the condemned will be hanged. Now I will have peace,” Asha Devi told PTI.

At the other end of the emotional spectrum, Akshay Kumar’s wife, Puneeta Devi, passed out in front of the Casa Patiala court and said that she and her youngest son should be hanged along with him.

“I want justice too. Kill me too. I don’t want to live. My husband is innocent,” said Puneeta, hitting himself with sandals.

He recently filed for divorce with a Bihar family court, saying he did not want to live under the label of “the widow of a rapist.”

In the slum neighborhood of South Delhi, Ravidas Camp, Vinay Sharma’s mother was fearfully and furiously counting the hours.

“What will you write now? Has something happened so far with your writing? If God wants it to be saved,” he lashed out at a journalist.

“It is all God’s desire. Look at the coronavirus. It is God who decides everything, who lives and who dies. It is beyond the control of any human,” he said.

The slum neighborhood, representing the capital’s vulnerable area, right next to the elegant government district of R K Puram, housed four of the six men convicted of the crime.

While the widowed mother of brothers Ram Singh and Mukesh Singh left the town and returned to their family in Rajasthan, the families of Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta still live in the slum colony.

Pawan Gupta’s family sells fruit for a living and refused to speak.

On Thursday night, Tihar Jail also did his homework.

Seven years after Afzal Guru’s execution, he prepared to hang the four men after several fictional bullfights and officials who went over the details specified in the jail manual.

This is the first time that four men will be hanged together in the Tihar prison, the largest prison complex in South Asia that houses more than 16,000 inmates.

A senior prison official said Pawan Jallad, a Meerut executioner, reported to the Tihar prison administration Tuesday night to prepare for the exercise.

According to the jail manual, the jail superintendent will oversee the rope testing and also inspect the gallows one day before execution.

Execution, as specified by the Delhi Prison Rules 2018, will be conducted in the presence of the superintendent, the deputy superintendent, the chief medical officer, the resident medical officer, and the additional district magistrate or magistrate.

A guard of no less than 10 police officers, guardians and two head officers, head guards, or an equal number of the prison’s armed guard, will also be present, he says.

The prisoner’s families may not witness the executions. All other prisoners will remain locked until the exercise ends and the bodies are removed from the prison.

The execution of the four convicts brings down the case that rocked not only India but also the world with the details of its brutality.

Widespread protests subsequently paved the way for a change in India’s rape laws.

Two other men were convicted of the crime. Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide inside the Tihar prison in 2013 while the trial was still ongoing and the sixth, a minor, was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.

Times of India

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