Ballia (UP): A special puja for thanking the almighty was performed by residents of Nirbhaya's native village here as the long awaited Supreme Court verdict came today upholding the death penalty for the four convicts.
Locals in Medawar Kala, located on the border of Ballia and Ghazipur, 45 km from the district headquarters, say they had been praying for justice to their "daughter" since the diabolical attack of December 16, 2012 came to light.
The paramedic student, who came to be known by an outraged nation as "Nirbhaya" or fearless, would have turned 28 on May 10.
A special puja was performed at the Shiv temple, and sweets were distributed as soon as locals came to know about the apex court order upholding the death sentence to the four convicts.
Lalji Singh, the victim's grandfather, hoped that it will act as deterrent and women will feel more secure now. He appealed for reviewing the punishment to the minor in the case, saying that he is trying "to save himself through a fraud".
Speaking over phone, the victim's mother termed the verdict as a victory of justice. Her father said it was a very big day for the country and all those who were with them "in this fight are very happy".
The Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence awarded to the four convicts in the December 16, 2012 sensational gangrape and murder case, terming it the 'rarest of rare', most brutal, barbaric and diabolical attack .
The case sent a "tsunami of shock" all over, the apex court said, adding that the convicts treated the victim as an object of enjoyment.
A three-judge bench, through a unanimous verdict, upheld the Delhi High Court judgement which had concurred with the trial court decision.
Those who will face the gallows are Mukesh (29), Pawan (22), Vinay Sharma (23) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31).
One of the accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Delhi's Tihar Jail, while a convicted juvenile was sentenced to three years of punishment in a reform home.