Seven years of unnecessary delay finally came to an end when four convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case were hanged till death on 20 March 2020. Many have been celebrating the historic event. Even the mother of Nirbhaya, Asha Devi, who fought consistently to ‘snatch’ justice from the Indian judiciary also showed her gratitude. However, many are also demanding something more. Moreover, women also say only life sentence is not enough, but there is something that needs to be changed to reduce rape cases.
In about more than two months, the Delhi court had postponed the execution of four convicts thrice. On 5 March 2020, the court had again rescheduled the life sentences of convicts Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, for 20 March 2020. Because of multiple delays, citizens of the country were uncertain of the verdict. However, the judiciary finally kept its promise and hanged all four of them till death in Tihar jail early morning of 5 March.
It is historic because this is the second case of rape where convict/s was/were hanged till death. This is the reason, many are praising the act by the Indian judiciary. While talking to the media, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said, “Finally, the convicts have been hanged. This was a struggle of eight years. It was delayed but we got justice. Today, Nirbhaya got justice and girls of the country got justice. I want to thank everyone – the judiciary, the government, every citizen – for this.”
The founder of the Red Brigade, Usha Vishwakarma, was happy to say that justice has finally prevailed. Usha is also a victim of rape. It took one year for her to come out of the trauma she went through after her life tragedy. She then started working for rape victims and founded a non-organization called Red Brigade.
On the other hand, many netizens took to social media saying justice has not been done yet in the Nirbhaya rape case. Because a convict, Mohammad Afroz, is living his life freely. He got out of jail because he was juvenile when he committed the crime. Although he was juvenile, it is said that he was the one who made Nibhaya’s health impossible to recover.
What needs to be changed?
Although the death sentence may scare men who think of committing the heinous crime, Usha believes that there is more to be done. She said that society, as well as the government, should do something to ‘change the mindset’ of men towards women.
“We should stop objectifying women,” Usha said. Moreover, referring to the entertainment industry, she said that “The way women are represented in the industry is also one of the reasons for rape cases,” added Usha.
Many consider women responsible for sexual violence against them blaming their attire and living life as men do. Even the convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case were also justifying their crime by blaming the timing she was out and that too with a male friend. For them, it was a signal to rape her.
Usha responded on this saying if it is women then ‘why even a two years old baby being raped?” she asked.