- "Have to build a nation where focus is on women empowerment": PM Modi
- "The beasts have been hanged," Nirbhaya's mother said
- Four Nirbhaya gang-rape, murder convicts hanged at Tihar Jail
"Justice has prevailed," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted after the hanging of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case on Friday morning, over seven years after the young medical student - who came to be known as "Nirbhaya" or fearless - was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in Delhi.
"Justice has prevailed. 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," the Prime Minister tweeted.
The pre-dawn execution took place less than two hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the final petition of the convicts.
Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, were were send to the gallows at Delhi's Tihar Jail, where they spent the last few hours in isolation in separate cells, barely eating.
The four filed multiple petitions over the past few months, managing to stall their execution thrice at the eleventh hour.
"We all have waited so long for this day. Today is a new dawn for daughters of India. The beasts have been hanged," said Asha Devi, the mother of the young woman. After the Supreme Court's verdict, she went home and hugged her daughter's photo.
The four convicts, along with two others - one of them a minor - had gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod on the night of December 16, 2012. She died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the attackers, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years at a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The brutality of the attack had outraged the nation bringing thousands on the streets in protest, which led to key changes in the law and security system.