Varanasi: After a long wait of over seven years it was festive time in Nirbhaya’s ancestral village -Medaura Kala in Ballia district on Friday morning. Reason was quite obvious -the four culprits of Nirbhaya were hanged in Tihar Jail in national capital at 5:30am.
Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old physiotherapist, was gang raped and brutalized by six men in a running bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. She was transferred to a hospital in Singapore, where she succumbed to injuries during treatment on December 29, 2012.
All the accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused, Ram Singh, died in police custody from possible suicide on 11 March 2013 in the Tihar Jail. The rest of the accused went on trial in a fast-track court; the prosecution finished presenting its evidence on 8 July 2013. The juvenile was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment in a reform facility. On 10 September 2013, the four remaining adult defendants were found guilty of rape and murder and three days later were sentenced to death by hanging.
In the death reference case and hearing appeals on 13 March 2014, Delhi High Court upheld the guilty verdict and the death sentences. On 18 December 2019, the Supreme Court rejected the final appeals of the condemned perpetrators of the attack. On 7 January 2020, a judge in New Delhi issued death warrants for the four men, scheduling their executions for 7:00 am on 3 March 2020.
On 17 January 2020, after the convicts exhausted their mercy pleas, a Delhi court issued a second death warrant for the convicts to be hanged on 1 February 2020 at 6:00 am. The four adult convicts were hanged on 20 March 2020 at 5:30 am at Tihar Jail, and were declared dead after thirty minutes.
Soon after the execution of the capital punishment to the four culprits of Nirbhaya rape-murder case at Tihar jail in New Delhi on Friday morning, the natives of Medaura Kala, her ancestral village in Ballia district, plunged into festive mood and people expressed their joy by playing with colours and bursting fire crackers. They also distributed sweets among one another to celebrate the occasion.
“For last seven years we had not celebrated Holi after Nirbhaya’s tragedy. Today, we are happy to celebrate the festival,” said Lalji Singh, Nirbhaya’s grandfather (uncle of her father Badrinath Singh). “As the news came on news channels, the entire village plunged into celebration. Though it took over seven years, we are happy after getting justice,” he said.
Terming Nirbhaya’s rapists and killers as ‘corona virus’, they said that such viruses are destined to meet their end. The day began with the distribution of laddus among the villagers. Later, they gathered at the Primary Health Centre (PHC), built in memory of Nirbhaya, to celebrate Holi.
Not only in Ballia, but people in Varanasi also celebrated the occasion. The women associated with Muslim Mahila Foundation and Vishal Bharat Sansthan assembled with dhol and drum at Lamahi village to express their happiness. “We are happy that the Nirbhaya’s culprits were hanged. It brought a sense of security among the women,” said Archana Bharatvanshi of VBS. The MMF chief Nazneen Ansari said, “We were waiting for a long time for the execution of punishment, finally the day came today”.