Nirbhaya death anniversary: A timeline of the case on that dark fateful night of Dec 16, 2012
New Delhi, Dec 16: Today, 6 years back on a cold winter night, a horrifying crime was committed which shook the world. On December 16, 2012, Nirbhaya and her male friend had just stepped out of a movie theatre in South Delhi and were looking for an autorickshaw to get back home in Dwarka, when an off-duty chartered bus stopped in front of them and offered to give them a ride.
Apart from Nirbhaya, 23-year-old physiotherapist intern and her friend, Awindra Pratap Pandey, the bus was carrying six male occupants including the driver. Few minutes in, and soon the bus moved to an off route.
The bus moved in a direction which was off the route. The unsuspecting friends noticed something was wrong as the doors of the vehicle had been shut tightly.
Pandey, who spoke about the incident later, objected. He was shouted down. But he resisted and a scuffle broke out as the men, who were drunk, began molesting Nirbhaya - the name given to the woman later by the media which means fearless.
Hit by iron rode, Awindra lay unconscious as the six men dragged helpless Nirbhaya to the back of the bus and raped her one by one. As she fought back, her attackers wounded her physically.
As she kept fighting off her assailants by biting them, one of the attackers inserted a rusted rode in her private part, ripping her genital organs and insides apart.
Naked, bruised and severely bleeding, Nirbhaya and her unconscious friend were then thrown out off the moving bus in the night. In an attempt to kill her, the attackers even tried to run her over but her friend pulled her toward the pavement.
Half dead and in pain, the two were later found and taken to Safdarjung Hospital, where they were given emergency treatment.
According to medical and police reports, Nirbhaya had several bite marks on her body while her intestines, genitals and uterus were gravely damaged. 11 days after the assault, Nirbhaya was transferred to a hospital in Singapore where she died from her injuries two days later.
The accused were quickly caught and identified as Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Gupta, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and a juvenile. Ram Singh, the bus driver, committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial. The juvenile was given the maximum sentence of three years and was sent to a reform facility. He was later released, while Ram Singh, the bus driver, committed suicide in Tihar Jail during a trial.
On September 10, 2013, the remaining four convicts were found guilty of rape and murder. Three days later, they were sentenced to death by hanging.
While the country still waits for the verdict to be executed, every cruel, heinous crime committed against a woman, takes us back to Nirbhaya and that cold grim night.