The execution date has been set for the four men who were convicted of the 2012 Delhi bus gang-rape and murder of a student.

The convicts Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh were sentenced to death by a fast-track court in 2013.

Their 23-year-old victim died from her injuries 13 days after she was raped and assaulted on a moving bus.

The men are due to be hanged on 22 January, and their lawyers plan to launch last-ditch legal challenges.

The men cannot be executed until the Supreme Court rejects their final challenge, and the Indian president also rejects their mercy petitions. They are yet to file either.

At a hearing, the public prosecutor urged the court to go ahead and issue a death warrant – he argued that not filing the appeals was a delaying tactic

The mother of the victim has welcomed the news and said “I am very happy that the court has issued death warrants for all the four convicts today,” she told the BBC. “We have fought the legal battle with a lot of patience for the last more than seven years.

“I finally get justice.”

The incident happened on the night of 16 December 2012 and sparked massive protests, global outrage and led to India passing new anti-rape laws.

Six men were arrested for the attack. One suspect, Ram Singh, was found dead in jail in March 2013, having apparently taken his own life.

Another, who was aged 17 at the time, was released in 2015 after serving three years in a reform facility – the maximum term possible for a juvenile in India.



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