Carrying the tricolour and raising slogans 'long live Nirbhaya' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', hundreds of people gathered outside the Tihar jail complex in the early hours of Friday, with some distributing sweets after the four gang-rape and murder convicts case were hanged.
Security was beefed up outside the Tihar Jail number three where the four convicts --- Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) --- were hanged at 5.30 am.
Among those gathered outside the jail was social activist Yogita Bhayana. She held a poster which read 'Nirbhaya has got justice. The other daughters still await'.
"Justice has been finally delivered," she said, adding it was a victory of the legal system.
The horrific gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern on December 16, 2012, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, the fearless, had seared the nation's soul and triggered countrywide outrage.
Akash Deep, who has been associated with Nirbhaya's family, said he came to witness the victory after a long-drawn legal battle that continued for over seven years.
"It was a tough fight. However, justice was won today," he said.
Divya Dhawan, who came from Subhash Nagar, said, "The decision is good but that could have been better if justice was delivered early."
Sana, a resident of west Delhi, said, "Nothing will change after this hanging in our society, but we are happy that the four convicts have been hanged and justice was delivered."
This is the first time that four men were hanged together in Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates.
The executions were carried out after the men exhausted every possible legal avenue to escape the gallows. Their desperate attempts only postponed the inevitable by less than two months after the first date of execution was set for January 22.
In last-gasp attempts, one of the convicts knocked on the doors of the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court just hours before the hanging. In an unprecedented late-night hearing that began at 2.30 am and lasted an hour, a Supreme Court bench dismissed his last plea.
Vinay and Mukesh had dinner on Thursday night, but none of the four had breakfast. They also didn't take a bath or change clothes before their execution by hanging on Friday morning, a Tihar Jail official said, adding they did not show any signs of anxiety since Thursday evening.
The execution of the four convicts brings the curtains down on the case that shook not just India but also the world with the details of its brutality The widespread protests subsequently paved the way for a change in India's rape laws.
Two other men were convicted for the crime. Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide inside Tihar Jail in 2013 while the trial was still on and the sixth, a juvenile, was released in 2015 after spending three years in a correctional home.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)