NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday decided the fate of four rapists and delivered a historic judgment in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case by awarding death sentence to all the convicts.
Social media sites reacted to the dramatic capping of events stretching for nearly five years that saw, by turns, an outraged nation spilling on to the streets, a riveting legal battle which brought the spotlight on capital punishment, and eventually a significant verdict by the apex court.
“Finally! Justice for #Nirbhaya,” tweeted a user of a popular Twitter handle, using the words that had become a rallying cry during the tumultuous protests after the incident.
The user also posted a picture of the victim’s mother paying tribute to her daughter at a memorial, with a caption that read — “After 4 years, 4 months, 18 days, many protests tears, pain & struggle, the soul of the daughter of India & sister of Indians will rest in peace.”
The judgment came only a day after the Bombay High Court had rejected the death plea to the convicts in Bilkis Bano’s gangrape case.
A section of people on social media compares Jyoti Singh – who was dubbed Nirbhaya – found justice in the Supreme Court verdict, with Bilkis Bano, the victim of anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002 who was treated differently.
Bilkis Bano is also the victim of the same crime. She was gangraped. 14 members of her family, including her 2-year-old daughter, were killed by a mob in Gujarat riots.
Netizens including journalists, politicians, lawyers and members of civil society voiced their concerns and highlighted the difference in the two verdicts between the Nirbhaya and Bilkis Bano case.
Here are some of the reactions:
Nirbhaya killers given death sentence. Those who Gangraped Bilkis Bano, killed her child, given life. Law is supreme. Or is it an ass?!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) May 5, 2017
@sardesairajdeep Bilkis Bano case fell within the category of 'rarest of the rare' cases and the guilty deserved the death sentence.
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) May 5, 2017
Why is #BilkisBano not in the rarest of rare categories. Saw her 3 yr old daughter bludgeoned & was gang raped?
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) May 5, 2017
Why Bilkis Bano gang rape not fit for death but Delhi rape case is?: suggests much about India, media, legal system, & death penalty itself.
— Rohit Pradhan (@Retributions) May 5, 2017
Finally justice given in Nirbhaya case.Wat abt Bilkis Bano?We shd fight 4 harshest punishment 4 those beasts who raped her&killed her child
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) May 5, 2017
And what about Bilkis Bano? Goddammit if you are into comparisons. Make the law. Hang every rapist. But don't do this. Please. Just don't.
— Yashwant Deshmukh (@YRDeshmukh) May 5, 2017
Why is bilkis bano case any different ?? Why should she also not get closure by seeiṅg her perpetrators die? https://t.co/S3ZN66dq4C
— bhupendra chaubey (@bhupendrachaube) May 5, 2017
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) May 5, 2017
A desire for death penalty & justice for #Nirbhaya do u also agree on death penalty for those who gangraped Bilkis Bano & killed her child?
— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) May 5, 2017