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Nirbhaya convicts to be hanged on February 1

This comes after the President rejected the mercy petition filed by one of the convicts
Nirbhaya gang rape case convicts, clockwise from top left, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh
Nirbhaya gang rape case convicts, clockwise from top left, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 17.01.20, 12:50 PM

A Delhi court on Friday evening issued a fresh death warrant for the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case. They will be hanged on February 1 at 6am.

This comes after President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the mercy plea of one of the convicts, Mukesh Kumar, who was now exhausted all his legal options, officials said, adding that the home ministry has sent the plea back to the Delhi government.

The Union Home Ministry had forwarded the petition to the President late on Thursday night.

On Friday, after Kovind turned down the mercy plea, the ministry sent it to the Delhi government—Tihar Jail—where the four men have been lodged, comes under the Delhi government. Officials said the petition was sent to the Delhi government for the dissemination of information to prison authorities.

'It's a very good thing. Our hopes have gone up after the disheartening news that the execution might be delayed,' the victim's father told PTI as news came in of the rejection.

'We are happy that the chances of them getting hanged have increased. We are assured that as soon as they file the mercy pleas, they will be rejected,' he added.

Singh had filed his mercy petition two days ago.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gangraped and assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in south Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.

The brutality of the crime shook the nation, leading to country-wide protests and a change in India's rape laws.

Six people -- Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Ram Singh and a juvenile -- were named as accused.

The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.

The prime accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.

He was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. The juvenile, when released, was 20 years old.

Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were convicted and sentenced to death in September 2013.

They were to be hanged on January 22 at 7am in Tihar Jail, a Delhi court had announced on January 7 while issuing their death warrants.

However, the Delhi government informed the high court during a hearing that the execution of the convicts will not take place on the designated day as a mercy plea had been filed by Mukesh.

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