Nirbhaya : The hanging

Six people, including a juvenile, had gang-raped and fatally assaulted a 23-year-old paramedical student on a moving bus on a cold night of December 16, 2012, in Delhi.

Four of the men were hanged this morning in Tihar Jail at 5:30 am for the crime that had sparked widespread protests across the country and led to toughening of laws against sex offenders in India.

The men, mostly school dropouts were neighbours at a slum cluster in south Delhi’s RK Puram area.

Here is a look at who they were:

Mukesh Singh (33): He was the cleaner of the bus and had hit the woman and her friend with an iron rod on board the bus.

Mukesh Singh had said in an interview from jail for a BBC documentary aired in 2015 that women who went out at night had only themselves to blame if they attracted the attention of molesters.

Akshay Thakur (33): Thakur was a school dropout from Aurangabad district of Bihar. He was married and has a young son. The youngest of three brothers, his wife had sought a divorce so she does not have to live with the “stigma” of being the widow of a rapist.

Vinay Sharma (27): Sharma, a gym instructor, drove the bus when the other four men and a juvenile raped the woman. He then gave the wheel to Mukesh Singh to take turn to rape her.

Of the five convicted, he was the only one who had a school education and spoke English.

Pawan Gupta (25): Gupta, a fruit-seller, took turns to rape the woman and assault her friend. Youngest of the four convicts, he pursued graduation from inside Tihar Jail.

Ram Singh (33): The elder brother of Mukesh, Ram Singh was the driver of the bus and known to be notorious for caring little for law. He had attacked the woman with an iron rod causing her intestines to spill out.

Ram Singh was the first one to be caught on December 17, 2012. He was sitting on the same bus where the men had raped the woman and where his bloodstained clothes were also found when the police nabbed him.

He was found hanging in his cell at Tihar Jail in March 2013.

The juvenile : The juvenile was tried by the Juvenile Justice Board for raping and assaulting the woman. He was found guilty on charges of rape and murder and sentenced to three years in a reform facility, the maximum sentence available to a juvenile, in August 2013.

He was released after he completed his term in December 2015. He worked as a cook at a roadside eatery in somewhere in south India and then at a prominent restaurant.

He was 11 when he fled home, 240 km from Delhi, and had a family of an elder sister, an ailing mother, younger siblings and a bedridden father. The family still lives in the same village.

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