The seven-year battle for justice for Nirbhaya drawing to a close, her mother today hailed the court's decision to implement the death sentence of the rapists. The four men, whose attack on the 23-year-old paramedical student, had generated one of the most horrific headlines of the decade, will be hanged at 7 am on January 22, a Delhi court has said.
"This judgment will reinforce people's faith in the judiciary. My daughter will get justice, daughters of the country will get justice," said the mother of the girl dubbed "Nirbhaya" by the media.
"I am happy with the court's decision. The convicts will be hanged at 7 am on 22nd January... This decision will instill fear in people who commit such crimes," her father said.
Since the rapists were sentenced to death, the couple have been demanding its speedy implementation. The Supreme Court has already turned down review petitions from three of the convicts, and a mercy petition from a fourth has been turned down.
One of the convicts, Pawan Kumar Gupta, had even claimed he was a minor at the time of the crime. But the judge had dismissed it and imposed a Rs 25,000 fine on his lawyer for "playing hide-and-seek".
The convicts, though, have the option of filing curative petition in court and a mercy petition.
After the Supreme Court dismissed the last review petition -- filed by Akshay Singh -- last month, Nirbhaya's parents had asked a lower court to issue a death warrant, but the judge had deferred a decision for today.
Nirbhaya's mother had broken down in court. "I have been running from pillar to post for one year," she wept. The judge had consoled her, saying he was bound by the law.
Besides Mukesh and Akshay SIngh, the others on the death row are Vinay Sharma and Pawan Kumar Gupta. They, along with bus driver Ram Singh and a juvenile, had gangraped and tortured the 23-year-old in a moving bus and threw her and her friend, naked and bleeding, on the road. The young woman had died at a hospital in Singapore after battling for life for 13 days.
The juvenile, who was just a few months short of 18 years when the crime was committed, was kept at a reform hoe for three years and released. Ram Singh had committed suicide in jail.
The brutality of the attack had shocked the country and led to change in laws where juveniles are involved in heinous crimes like rape and murder.