Almost five years ago, on December 17, 2012, the whole nation woke up to the shocking news of a brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old girl on a moving bus at late hours in the national capital, Delhi. The incident took place when the victim and her male friend were returning after watching a movie and waiting to hail an auto. It was then that the six culprits – Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Ram Singh and a juvenile offered them a lift from Munirka to Dwarka. When the victim’s friend noticed that the driver was taking a different route and the door was also tightly shut, he objected. The victim and her companion met with a bloody fight, and the victim was brutally gang raped. After the heinous episode, both the victims were thrown out of the moving bus and were discovered by a passerby in a naked state. They were immediately rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital but after putting up a brave fight for a fortnight, the victim, fondly called as ‘Nirbhaya’ by the nation, gave up on her struggle in a hospital at Singapore.
This disturbing incident triggered massive protests against the culprits nationwide. Thousands of people gathered at India Gate and Raisina Hills petitioning for justice for the innocent girl. The Delhi Police filed charges for rape, murder, and kidnapping against the five adult culprits and the juvenile was tried and found guilty by the Juvenile Justice Board. After serving three years in a remand home, he was released in 2015. Ram Singh, who was one of the accused was found dead in the prison while the trial was still going on. On September 10, 2013, the remaining four accused were adjudged guilty by a trial court. They challenged the death penalty awarded to them by the Delhi High Court in 2014 and were downright rejected. The accused then moved a petition to the Supreme Court which had put a hold on their verdict for reconsideration.
On Friday afternoon, the four accused were sentenced with death penalties sending a wave of happiness and relief to the whole nation who were eagerly waiting for the justice for the country’s sister and daughter- Nirbhaya.