New Delhi: Reacting to a tweet by ace lawyer Indira Jaising, urging her to forgive the four men on death row for brutally raping and fatally assaulting her daughter, Nirbhaya’s Mother Asha Devi said on Saturday: “Even if God asks me, I won’t forgive them.”
Speaking to journalists over the phone the mother, who has been fighting for seven years to send her daughter’s killers to the gallows, said, “...even if God comes and asks me to forgive them, I will not. People like these [Jaising] are a blot on the society.”
Commenting on Jaising’s tweet, she said: “Who is she to tell or suggest to me to forgive them. What relationship does she have with me. I have nothing to do with such people. She may be a relative of those [the convicts] that she is having a soft corner for.”
“She is an insult to women. She is running a business in the name of human rights. She is a veteran, she should give a message to the society. But she instead will go against her own kind,” she added.
Earlier in the day, Jaising had requested Asha Devi to follow the example of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who had moved for the clemency of a woman, Nalini Murugan convicted for the assassination of her husband and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“While I fully identify with the pain of Asha Devi I urge her to follow the example of Sonia Gandhi who forgave Nalini and said she didn’t want the death penalty for her. We are with you but against death penalty,” Jaising tweeted on Friday.
Nirbhaya’s father on Saturday said Jaising should be “ashamed” of herself for suggesting pardons for the four death row convicts and said his family isn’t as “large-hearted” as Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
He also demanded an apology from Jaising, who is known for her stand against capital punishment.
“She [Indira Jaising] is a woman herself. She should be ashamed of making such comments and apologise to Nirbhaya’s mother,” he said.
“We have been fighting the case for seven years. We are [ordinary] people and not politicians. We are not as large-hearted as Sonia Gandhi,” he said.
“Such mentality is responsible for the rising number of rapes,” he added.
He said they had seen Jaising in court but never interacted with her.
“Why did she have to say something and face insult when she has nothing to do with the case,” he asked.
A Delhi Court on Friday issued fresh death warrants against the four convicts — Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and Vinay in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Satish Kumar Arora fixed February 1 as the date of execution of the four death row convicts. They will be hanged at 6am.
The move came after the prosecution moved an application seeking issuance of fresh death warrants following the rejection of the mercy plea of one of the convicts Mukesh by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The 23-year-old victim was brutally gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, which later led to her death.
All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.
Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petitions.