A New Delhi court on Tuesday scheduled the executions of four men found guilty of brutally gang raping and killing a 23-year-old woman in 2012.
The court scheduled Mukesh, 32; Pawan Gupta, 25; Vinay Sharma, 26; and Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, to be executed Jan. 22 at Tihar Jail.
The announcement comes more than six years after they were sentenced to death for the Dec. 16, 2012, slaying of the woman who came to be known in India as "Nirbhaya," which means "fearless" in Hindi. Prosecutors said five men and a male juvenile attacked the woman after she and a male companion boarded a bus.
The perpetrators took turns raping the woman and assaulting her with an iron rod while the bus drove around for an hour. The bus driver was among the attackers.
The men also beat the woman's companion and dumped them both by the side of the road after the attack. Both victims were hospitalized and the woman died from her injuries two weeks later.
The five adults were sentenced to death and the juvenile received a three-year prison sentence, which he has completed. One of the adult perpetrators killed himself in prison.
The Press Trust of India reported the four men likely will be hanged simultaneously.
Nirbhaya's family said the issuance of the death warrant provides her with justice.
"The hanging of the four convicts will restore the faith of women in law," her mother said.
The woman's rape and death prompted protests in India, accusing the government of failing to adequately protect women.
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