It has been eight years since a physiotherapy student, who later came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped on December 16, 2012. The convicts - Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta were hanged to death in Delhi's Tihar Jail on March 20, 2020, March 20, at 5:30 am.
Nine months after the convicts were hanged, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi recounted her more than seven years of struggle in the legal battle, which finally concluded with the execution of the four convicts this year.
While speaking to news agency ANI, Devi said she is now determined to fight for justice for rape victims, saying that it will be a tribute to her daughter.
"Justice has been delivered to my daughter. But it does not mean that I will sit in silence. I will continue to fight for justice to all rape victims. Like this, I will pay tribute to my daughter. Everyone together needs to raise their voice against rape," said Asha Devi.
On December 16, 2012, Nirbhaya, a physiotherapy student was gang-raped and brutally assaulted inside a moving bus in Delhi, along with her male friend accompanying her. While he recovered, the woman succumbed to her injuries, days after the assault.
The brutality of the gang-rape shook the conscience of the nation with civilians taking to streets demanding strict laws on crimes against women and building a pressure on Delhi Police to catch hold of the perpetrators soon.
The 41-member team that investigated the crime was led by Chhaya Sharma, the then DCP (South District) of Delhi Police. The team nabbed the six within five days. The team also used criminal forensics and technical data for their investigation.
Careful collection of cellular data, CCTV footages, evidence from the interior of the bus, DNA samples of blood, hair, saliva of the girl and bite marks on her body were the high points of the investigation.
Apart from this, the dying declarations of Nirbhaya and the testimony of the eyewitness helped the department to crack down the case.
Change In Policing
The case not just resulted in the hanging of the convicts, but also brought a change in policing.
Registration of crime underwent a systematic change with the number of FIRs getting doubled in years. Multiple women helplines were added, including 1091.
The amended laws made police duty-bound to assist rape survivors, right from the immediate registration of an FIR on the receiving the complaint to registering online complaints, Times of India reported.
Legal help from police crisis cells was made available to women. Stalking or unwanted attempts to contact a person was made punishable by a three-year jail term. A team of anti-stalking groups was formed by force, which deals with all distress calls. The team follows up on the case, tracks the numbers of the aggressors and later the case is referred to the local police in real-time.
In addition, all-women PCR vans were also deployed, male and female cops are also posted outside schools and colleges when classes begin and end. Women PCRs are also deployed in the risk-prone routes taken by women returning from malls and other hubs.
There have been many institutes across the country that now provide self-defence training at a large scale. The police undergo gender sensitisation programs as well.
The one battle pushed the changes in the police as well as the judicial system. The case had created an uproar not only in India but across the world.