Asha Devi, mother of the 23-year-old medical student who was raped and fatally injured by four men on a bus in Delhi in 2012 triggering an unprecedented outpouring of public anger, has said that the case is being used for political mileage.
"Those who attacked my daughter are being given a thousand options, but we have no rights? Till now, I never talked about politics, but now I want to say that those people who held protests on streets in 2012, today the same people are only playing with my daughter's death for political gains," she told news agency ANI, wiping away her tears.
Her comments come amid a blame game between the BJP which rules at the centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which governs Delhi over the delay in the execution of four men convicted of the rape and murder.
At a news conference on Thursday, BJP leader and union minister Prakash Javadekar had said all four convicts would have been hanged by now had the AAP government acted quickly and served notices to them immediately after the Supreme Court rejected their appeal against death sentence in 2017.
Hitting back at the BJP, Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia said if central government handed over the capital's law and order to his government for two days, the hangings would be carried out immediately.
"If they have not been hanged yet, it is due to the AAP government's negligence... This delay of over two and a half years is due to the complicity of Delhi's AAP government. It has sympathies with these convicts, and this (delay) is a result of that," Mr Javadekar said.
However, Mr Sisodia and his party colleague Sanjay Singh said the BJP leader was "lying".
"Javadekar ji, police is under you (centre), responsibility of law and order is under you, home ministry is under you, Tihar DG and administration is under you and you are blaming us. Please don't stoop so low on a sensitive issue," Sisodia said.
A Delhi court today said the four convicts - Mukesh, 32, Vinay Sharma, 26, Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, and Pawan Gupta, 25 - will hang on February 1 at 6 am. The execution had earlier been scheduled for January 22.
The prosecution has claimed that the four men were "frustrating" and "intentionally" delaying the legal process by filing curative and mercy pleas in stages to postpone their execution.
The 2012 attack on the 23-year-old physiotherapy student, who came to be known as "Nirbhaya" or "fearless', had shocked India and triggered widespread protests.
The protest had seen the leaders of the BJP, and the then newly-launched Aam Aadmi Party jumping into the fray, targeting the Congress party which was in power both in Delhi and the centre at the time.