5 Years After Horrific Gangrape Of 'Nirbhaya', Still No Justice?

| December 16 , 2017 , 12:16 IST

Exactly 5 years after 'Nirbhaya' was gangraped by 6 people inside a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012, with an iron rod inserted inside her body damaging her intestines, she is yet to receive justice.

With Nirbhaya dying 13 days after the brutal gangrape, 6 people were identified as the perpetrators, namely,  Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Gupta, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and a juvenile. From the accused, Ram Singh, the bus driver, committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial and the juvenile was released from remand home in 2015 after he spent 3 years there.

The remaining 4 accused, Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay received the death penalty on September 13, 2013, which after appeals was upheld by the Supreme Court on May 2017. Despite the confirmed death sentence, it was not carried out, and in November the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), issued a notice to Tihar Jail Administration and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South District, questioning the delay in execution of death penalty.

"Even after 5 years, her culprits are alive. If justice isn't served on time, people cease to be scared of law. A strong law needs to be formulated and mindset of everyone, be it a politician or a common man, needs to be changed," said Asha Devi, victim's mother.

What happened that night?

On the night of December 16, 2012, Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old physiotherapist intern returned from watching a movie with her friend Awindra Pratap Pandey. As they waited in South Delhi's Munirka for an auto-rickshaw to reach their home in Dwarka, an off-duty charter bus with 6 male occupants including the driver, stopped by them and offered a ride.  

The bus moved in a direction which was off the route and the friends noticed that the doors of the vehicle were shut tightly. Pandey, later said that he had objected but was shouted down. He resisted and a scuffle broke out, and Pandey was knocked out with an iron rod.

Nirbhaya was dragged to the back of the moving bus and all the 6 men took turns to rape her. One of the accused, a juvenile, inserted a rusty L-shaped rod into her private parts, ripping apart her intestines, causing septic injuries. When the accused finished the assault, they threw the duo off the bus and even attempted to run over Nirbhaya, but Pandey pulled her aside on the pavement.

A passerby found the two lying half dead and informed the Delhi Police. Nirbhaya was taken to Safdarjung Hospital where she was found to have only 5 percent of her intestines left inside her body. As the nation erupted in protest, Nirbhaya worsened and she was flown to a Singapore hospital. On December 29, Nirbhaya died.