New Delhi, February 1
Nirbhaya convict Vinay Sharma’s mercy plea has been rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind, it was announced today. The four men convicted in the 2012 gangrape, torture and killing of a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi were due to be executed at 6 am today, but late last evening a Delhi court handed them a last-minute reprieve, yet again.
The four convicts will now not hang until further orders in the case, the court said. The rejection of Vinay Sharma’s plea means the earliest the four can be hanged is February 15, rules state a convict must be given 14 days before the rejection of a mercy plea and his execution.
On December 16, 2012, the young woman who came to be known as “Nirbhaya” was gang-raped by six men on a moving bus, tortured with an iron rod and thrown off the vehicle. She died on December 29.
The savage assault stunned the nation and angry protesters filled the streets in their demand for justice. Of the six men, one was found hanging in jail. The youngest, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after three years in a reform home.