New Delhi: Nine months after the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student inside a private bus in Delhi shook the national conscience, a fast track court on Tuesday convicted all the four men facing trial in the case. The arguments for sentencing of the four convicts will begin on Wednesday.
The convicts Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta have been held guilty on all counts including gangrape, murder, unnatural offence, dacoity, kidnapping and destruction of evidence. The court in its order on Tuesday, said that the injuries inflicted on the victim clearly show that their intention was not only to rape but also to kill the girl and their actions were premeditated.
The court maintained that all the four were participants in the assault quashing the question as to who committed rape and who didn't.
There were six men who were arrested for committing the heinous crime but in a crucial development in the case, one of the accused Ram Singh was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Tihar Jail. While the case against him was dropped, the court held him equally responsible for the crime.
Another of the six arrested was pronounced a minor and was tried by the Juvenile Justice Board. On August 31, he was convicted and given the maximum punishment possible under the juvenile justice board and sent to a correctional facility for three years.
The family members of the braveheart expressed hope over the verdict while adding that they would be satisfied only after the convicts are given a death sentence.
While the braveheart fought her terrible wounds for 13 days before succumbing to her injuries in December 2012, the nation hung onto every medical update. The country was outraged and shocked at the extreme brutal and horrific nature of the crime. Protesters spilled onto the streets in the aftermath of the incident and the sheer outrage forced the government to bring a stricter anti-rape and sexual crime law. Her end however, was enveloped in utmost secrecy.
The 23-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest on December 26. She was revived from the attack but was left critical following which the government flew her to a hospital in Singapore. The battle for survival ended 3 days later on December 29 and in complete secrecy she was cremated on December 30 at her native village.
The incident had evoked angry reactions not just from the family but from all over the country. Terming the incident as horrible, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde after the verdict on Tuesday said that death penalty is the right punishment for the convicts.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj also echoed the same emotions and demanded death penalty for the four accused. She also added that she was saddened by the punishment that has been awarded to the fifth convict and said that even he deserved a death sentence.
Demanding death penalty for the convicts, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said that compassion is for humanity and not for beasts like the four convicts. She termed it as a crime against the society.