India’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of four men convicted for the brutal gang rape and murder of a Delhi student in 2012, the Hindustan Times reports.
Justice Dipak Misra read the verdict on Friday, drawing applause from the court and marking the conclusion of an appeal hearing that began last year.
In reading the verdict, Misra said that the 23-year-old victim had experienced a “devastating hour of darkness” before she died. An appeal against the death sentence has been forwarded in 2013 but the court rejected it.
Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, was brutally raped and left for dead by five men and a teenager after she boarded a bus on her way home from the cinema. She was taken to the hospital but the doctors and the medical staff knew her death was already a foregone conclusion due to the extent of her injuries. She died of internal injuries 13 days later.
The four men were convicted on September 2013 for murder, gang rape, theft, conspiracy, and “unnatural acts” following a court trial that lasted seven months. The identity of Jyoti Singh’s killers are Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, and Pawan Gupta, as reported by First Post.
A fifth man named Ram Singh, suspected to be the ringleader, had been found dead inside his cell due to suspected suicide. The then-17-year-old who was with them was sentenced to three years in jail but has already been released. According to Hindustan Times, the “juvenile,” now 23-years-old, works as a cook at a prominent restaurant and is leading a “good” life.
Dr. Sunil Jain, the chief surgeon of Safdarjung Hospital, said that he knew Singh was not going to survive the moment he came across her injuries. He recalled that she was brought to the hospital around Sunday midnight.
“In my close to 40 years of experience as a surgeon, I have not come across more brutal assault on a person. It was man-made and irreparable,” Jain told Hindustan Times.
“She had severe injuries to her private parts and abdomen, the magnitude of which we realized only when we wheeled her into the operation theatre.”
“It was a foregone conclusion from day one that she will not survive because of the nature of injuries.”
According to the medical staff who treated her, the only way they could have saved the Delhi gang rape victim is if they administered an intestinal transplant. Jain, however, said that they’ve only read of the procedure in medical textbooks.
Singh already knew that she had no chance of surviving from her injuries, but she fought for live for 13 days so she can provide information as to the identities of the men who raped her.
“She was otherwise a healthy woman and her body reserves were good. Mentally, too, she was very tough. She knew she wouldn’t survive but still would keep repeating that if she survived, she would like to complete her course,” said Dr Jain.
10 days after the assault, Singh, despite her injuries, was able to narrate her ordeal to the magistrate. She died three days later.
The 2012 Delhi gang rape case sparked angry street protests in India, with concerned groups and feminists decrying and lamenting the country’s rape crisis.
Women’s rights activist Ranjna Kumari applauded the Supreme Court’s verdict, calling it an “historic judgment.”
“This is a historic message to all the people, the criminal mindset who wrong women, who inflict violence on women, to know that if you do something like this you will be also paying for it by the severest punishment that exists in our laws of the land,” Kumari said on Indian news channel NDTV.
[Featured Image by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images]