An Indian court Tuesday ordered the hanging of four men convicted in the brutal gang-rape and murder of a student on a moving bus in 2012.
Judge Satish Kumar in New Delhi said that the men be hanged on the morning of January 22 after the parents of the 23-year-old Jyoti Singh petitioned the court against a prolonged delay in their execution.
"I am very happy. Not just my daughter but the entire nation has finally got justice. This will send a strong message to the people and act as a deterrence in future crimes against women. If one get speedy justice, number of incidents would reduce," Badri Singh, Singh's father told The National.
The horrific crime and the delay in execution of the convicts have caused widespread public outrage against the judiciary and the government that many blame of being ineffective in ending the growing number of sexual crimes in the country.
"This judgement will reinstate women's faith in the judiciary. My daughter will finally get justice," said Asha Devi, Singh's mother after the ruling.
Singh’s father, Badrinath, added: “Not only us, but the whole country has got justice. Incidents of rape are increasing in our country. Criminals will have fear of the law now.”
Singh was attacked on a private chartered bus in New Delhi in December 2012 while returning home after going to the cinema with a male friend, triggering weeks of street protests and bringing stricter sex crime laws.
The six attackers, who included a juvenile, took turns to rape her and brutally assault her with a metal rod before throwing her onto the road near the Delhi's international airport.
Government lawyers told the judge that no legal appeal by the convicts was pending before the ruling was pronounced in an open court.
The four men were convicted and sentenced to death by a fast-track court in 2013 but they mounted several unsuccessful challenges to their punishment.
"It is a very important decision that will create fear in the minds of people that they will not be spared if they commit such a crime," said Seema Kushwaha, the victim's lawyer, told reporters outside the court.
The juvenile was convicted and jailed for three years at a reform home before his release in 2016.
Another accused allegedly committed suicide inside the jail during the trial.
One of the convicts’ mother walked up to Ms Devi and begged for forgiveness.
"I appeal to you to forgive my son. I am begging for his life," she said.
A. P. Singh, the lawyer representing the convicts, said they will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court that could possibly delay the hangings.
The convicts are being held in Delhi's Tihar jail, which for several weeks has been preparing for the hangings.
The jail officials have been reported to have conducted dummy trials to test the gallows and ordered ropes from northern Bihar state.