Will continue to fight for speedy justice, says mother
New Delhi: Justice has finally been done and women will definitely feel safer now, Nirbhaya's parents said after four men convicted of gang rape and murder of their daughter were executed on Friday, resolving that their next fight would be to plug the loopholes that delay punishment.
Talking to reporters at her home in Dwarka in west Delhi, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said justice was delayed but not denied in the 2012 case. Her father Badrinath Singh said although his daughter has got justice, the family will now fight for daughters of the country and work to plug the loopholes in the rape laws.
"We will request the Supreme Court to issue guidelines so that no one can adopt delaying tactics in such cases in future," the mother said, referring to the execution of death warrants being deferred thrice by a court on various grounds.
"Justice has been delivered finally, but after much delay. Our fight to ensure timely justice to other such women victims will continue, and hope the system will ensure fast-tracked courts for speedy justice," she said.
She said women will definitely feel safer after this execution and it will also make parents teach boys to behave with women. "After a long agonising wait, my daughter has got justice," she said.
"After the Supreme Court hearing last night, I came home and hugged a portrait of my daughter and told her - 'beti nyay dila diya tumko'," Asha Devi said, adding, "March 20 should be celebrated as Nirbhaya Nyay Diwas (day of justice). This day will be written in history books."
The father said the entire world knows Nirbhaya has finally got justice but he does not think everyone will. "Today, Nirbhaya has got justice and message has gone across the country that those who indulge in such heinous crimes will not be spared. But we need to take forward this struggle. We want to study the loopholes during our seven-year-long legal struggle," he said.
He said the family will consult their lawyers, well-wishers and other well-meaning people. "They will study the case and prepare a list of the loopholes in the system. We will give it to the government and tell them to make necessary changes," the father added.
Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) were executed at 5.30 am for the savage assault in an empty moving bus on the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern who came to be known the world over as Nirbhaya, the fearless one.
Hours before the execution, Gupta approached the Supreme Court to challenge the rejection of the second mercy petition by the president. In an unprecedented late-night hearing that began at 2.30 am and lasted an hour, an apex court bench dismissed his plea, paving the way for the execution.
The bench also refused to pass any direction allowing Gupta and Akshay Singh meet their family members before they were sent to the gallows.
"Our faith in Constitution or judicial system was getting shaken, but that trust has been restored. This hanging will send a stern warning to criminals to dare not commit such acts," Asha Devi said.
"My daughter will now rest in peace," said the emotionally overwhelmed mother, appealing to all mothers to report sexual assault cases in family and society to support the daughters.
Nirbhaya's father said he and his wife haven't slept a wink, awaiting justice.
"We haven't slept the whole night, running from high court to Supreme Court late night. But, finally, the moment has arrived. Our village in Ballia will now play Holi," he said outside their home. "Our wait for justice was painful and agonising. We appeal for observing this day as Nirbhaya Nyay Diwas," he added.
Women gathered outside the Dwarka home did a countdown as the time of the execution of the four convicts neared.
This was the first time that four men have been hanged together in Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates.
The executions were carried out after the convicts exhausted every possible legal avenue to escape the gallows.
Their desperate attempts only postponed the inevitable by less than two months after the first date of execution was set for January 22.