Nirbhaya convicts hanging on February 1
NEW DELHI : Delhi court on Friday issued fresh death warrants against the four Nirbhaya convicts and set a new date for their hanging: February 1, 2020 at 6 am. Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora was hearing a plea by one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, who asked that his execution be postponed from January 22.
Authorities at Delhi’s Tihar Jail sought the issuance of fresh death warrants against the convicts earlier in the day. Public Prosecutor Irfan Ahmed told the court that a mercy plea filed Mukesh Singh had been rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.
President Ram Nath Kovind, on Friday, rejected Nirbhaya gang-rape case convict Mukesh Singh’s mercy plea. The Ministry of Home Affairs had forwarded his mercy petition to the president last night, recommending its rejection.
The Delhi LG had sent the mercy petition of Mukesh to the Home Ministry on Thursday, a day after the Delhi government rejected his plea. In an interview with news agency on Friday, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said, “Till now, I never talked about politics, I have only asked for justice with folded hands. But now I want to say that those people who protested on the streets with the tricolour and black flags in 2012, today they are playing with my daughter’s death for political gains.”
She added, “Some are blaming the government for this delay in delivering justice while some are saying give us the police and we will hang the convicts in two days.”
Earlier on Thursday, both BJP and AAP played blame game politics over the delay in the hanging of the four convicts. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar pointed out that Tihar jail authorities had not notified the convicts of their legal options since 2017 while AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said that the Kejriwal government had immediately rejected the mercy petition. All 4 convicts have been moved to Jail No. 3 where the hanging is scheduled to take place.
Meanwhile, Fresh death warrants were issued this evening for the four men convicted of the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi in 2012. The four will now be executed at 6 am on February 1, Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora said today, while also turning down a plea by Mukesh Singh, one of the convicts, to postpone the execution. The warrants were issued mere hours after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected a mercy plea filed by the same convict.
The new death warrants are dated to exactly 14 days from today, in accordance with a law that states convicts to be executed must have a reprieve from the time their mercy plea is turned down.
Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Kumar Singh and Pawan Gupta were to be hanged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail on January 22, the same trial court judge had declared last week, signing a death warrant more than seven years after the young girl was gang-raped on a moving bus, tortured and killed.
However, on Thursday, five days before the scheduled execution, Tihar officials asked for a new date, saying the executions could not take place till after all mercy pleas were settled.n Mukesh Singh had filed his mercy petition on Tuesday, directly after the Supreme Court dismissed a curative petition – the last legal appeal – moved by him and Vinay Sharma.
The petition had been forwarded to the President via the Home Ministry late Thursday night and was rejected this afternoon. Nirbhaya’s mother, Asha Devi, had made a public appeal to the President to summarily reject the petition.
Earlier today Asha Devi also made a public appeal to politicians to not seek “political gains” over her daughter’s death. Her comments came amid a war of words between the AAP – which rules Delhi – and the BJP – in power at the centre – over delays in the execution.
The three other convicts have yet to file their respective mercy petitions, which they may do at any time prior to their execution. Each time such a petition is filed and rejected, that 14-day period must be observed, thereby potentially prolonging the execution.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus before being dumped on a road in south Delhi. The woman, who came to be known as “Nirbhaya”, died on December 29 in a Singapore hospital.
A day after a Delhi court stayed the order to hang the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case on January 22, Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat , who works actively for the rehabilitation of rape and child prostitution victims feels the news is “demoralising for the women of the country”. Reacting to the piece of news, Mallika told IANS: “How demoralising I feel it is for the women of this country. Imagine what her parents must be going through!”
Mallika seems to believe Indian men never respected women. “Did we ever respect women? Indian society is very regressive towards women. When I had tried saying this earlier, a section of the media started attacking me saying Mallika is tarnishing our country”s reputation before the world.
But I am a patriot, I love my country, that”s why I draw attention to this issue. I want to see a positive change. The country”s reputation cannot be more important than what is happening with our women. So, my question is, did India ever respect its women? Because if you do, then all these shouldn”t happen — that too regularly. Everybody thought there will be a change after the Nirbhaya case but Nirbhaya has not got justice yet!”
Talking about victim-blaming, which is a common practice in the Indian society, the actress added: “I strongly feel this and I always get into trouble for saying this because people like to think that women are really progressing in India. Nobody supports me when I say no, they are not.
Don”t talk about Mumbai or Pune — these are privileged women. Come to the small towns where victim-blaming is a common practice. Rape was inevitable, why did she go out at night? Imagine, people actually say these things! This is so wrong. I think, our mindset needs to change.”
Mallika also pointed out the sad reality about how women have been propagating patriarchy in our country for ages and continue to do so. Drawing from experience at the beginning of her Bollywood career, she said: “Women in our country are very patriarchal. They propagate patriarchy even more.
This mindset needs to change. When I started my career with films like ”Murder”, a lot of bullying that I faced came not from men but from women. I believe in sisterhood, in supporting women and pulling them up. So that came as a shocker to me.”
The actress was speaking on the sidelines of ”Friends of India”, an initiative by SP Mandali”s WeSchool to felicitate the efforts of individuals who have significantly contributed to the socio-economic and cultural development of India across the globe.
(With Agency Inputs ).