On February 17, the Patiala Court had issued fresh death warrants against all the four death-row convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
Ahead of the March 3 hanging, one of the Nirbhaya convict reportedly tried to hurt himself inside his cell, Tihar jail sources said on Thursday. The officials said that Sharma ‘banged his head against the wall’ inside his cell on February 16 night. He was taken to a nearby hospital. Officials added that Sharma received treated for minor injuries and was discharged on the same day. On February 17, the Patiala Court had issued fresh death warrants against all the four death-row convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31) will be executed on March 3 at 6 am inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
In last seven years, convict Vinay Kumar Sharma has repeatedly claimed that he is suffering from depression and mental anxiety. In fact, in 2016 he reportedly attempted to commit suicide in Tihar. Sharma had tried to hang himself from an iron grill of his cell with a cloth. On the day of the attempted suicide, Sharma had taken a heavy dose of anti-depressant. Sharma, a gym assistant, had pleaded not guilty to all charges and claimed he was at a musical event with his family when the paramedic was gangraped on December 16, 2012.
Originally, six men including a minor were convicted for the gruesome 2012 rape and murder. On March 11, 2013, prime accused Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar Jail. Officials had said that Singh hung himself using his clothes. Singh was the driver of the bus, in which the paramedic was brutalised and sexually assaulted.
On February 14, the Supreme Court had junked Vinay Sharma’s plea challenging rejection of his mercy petition by the President alleging that it was done in a “mala fide” manner. A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna said no ground of judicial review of rejection of mercy petition is made out by Sharma, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 case. All material including Sharma’s medical report placed before President who applied his mind in rejection of mercy plea, the apex court said. The top court had also rejected the contention of Sharma that he is mentally ill and said his medical report suggests he is stable.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya' (fearless), was gangraped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital. The brutality of the crime shook the nation, leading to country-wide protests and a change in India’s rape laws. Six people—Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta, Ram Singh and a juvenile—were named as accused. Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan were convicted and sentenced to death in September 2013.