All the work that was under Delhi government was completed by us within hours, Kejriwal said on Nirbhaya proceedings. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday rejected allegations that his government deliberately delayed the execution of Nirbhaya convicts. “Delhi government has no role in delaying their hanging,” Kejriwal said while addressing media. In fact, he countered the claims saying, “Why would Delhi government try to delay anything related to this case? We want the convicts to be hanged at the earliest." He also said that, “All the work that was under Delhi government was completed by us within hours. We never delayed any work related to this case. Delhi government hardly has an any role in it. We want convicts to be hanged at the earliest.” He also alleged that the BJP was politicising the issue.
On Thursday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said, “give us Delhi Police and law-and-order responsibility for two days and we will hang Nirbhaya convicts." The war of words erupted after Union minister Prakash Javadekar blamed the AAP government's "negligence" for the "delay" in the hanging of the four convicts, saying it took more than two-and-a-half years for the Arvind Kejriwal government to give notice to the rapists after the Supreme Court rejected their appeal against the death sentence in 2017.
The AAP government told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) -- the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case -- will not be hanged on January 22 as scheduled because one of them has moved a mercy plea and according to the prison rules, they cannot be executed till they exhaust all of their remedies under the law.
Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected Nirbhaya convict Mukesh Singh’s mercy petition. With this, Singh’s final recourse is exhausted. However, the other three death row convicts in Nirbhaya case have yet not filed the mercy plea. The Union Home ministry had recommended to President of India to reject mercy petition filed by Singh. The development comes a day after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal rejected the mercy plea and sent his recommendations to the Union Home ministry. Earlier, the Delhi government had also dismissed Singh’s mercy plea. Meanwhile, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi has reacted bitterly over the politics in the case. “Till now, I never talked about politics, but now I want to say that those people who held protests on streets in 2012, today the same people are only playing with my daughter's death for political gains,” Devi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.