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 men, sentenced to death in 2013, have been executed at Tihar jail after their clemency pleas were rejected.
The four were hanged before dawn on Friday at Tihar jail in the Indian capital, the head of the prison, Sandeep Goel, told AFP news agency, in India’s first use of capital punishment since 2015.
The four hung on Friday 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.”
Although, Many activists in India have opposed the death penalty saying it does not act as a deterrent.
“Justice is not served only by death sentence and dangerous offenders who pose threats to the society can be condemned to isolation from society till the end of natural life without resorting to execution,” said Suhas Chakma, the coordinator of the National Campaign Against Torture, in a statement.