Man convicted of brutally raping Indian woman says he's being 'sexually abused' in jail days before execution

Mukesh Singh, one of four men scheduled to be hanged on February 1 is attempting to make a second mercy appeal to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind after his first was rejected earlier


                            Man convicted of brutally raping Indian woman says he's being 'sexually abused' in jail days before execution
Asha Devi, the mother of Delhi rape victim (Getty Images)

One of the four men convicted of gang rape claims he deserves mercy because he was allegedly sexually assaulted in prison. Mukesh Singh, one of four men scheduled to be hanged on Saturday, February 1, is attempting to challenge the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind's decision after his first mercy plea was rejected.

His lawyers have called the first rejection "arbitrary and malafide". They claim that the president was not aware of all the aspects of the case. His attorney Anjana Prakash has said that Singh was allegedly "repeatedly sexually abused" inside the jail and kept for a time in solitary confinement which is against prison rules. "You are playing with somebody's life. You have to apply your mind," she argued in court according to NDTV.

The claims have been refuted by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that Singh's suffering while jailed cannot be considered grounds for a mercy appeal and that he was kept in a normal cell by himself and that it "can't be equated with solitary confinement." Mehta said, "Sometimes, medical health and condition of death row convicts has deteriorated so much so that they cannot be given death penalty but in this case, the medical condition of this(Mukesh) convict, is fine."

 Students hold up placards as they chant slogans in front of a police cordon during a protest against the Indian government's reaction to recent rape incidents in India in front of the Presidential Palace on December 22, 2012 in New Delhi, India.  (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar were convicted in the 2012 rape case that brought the attention of the world to India's deplorable condition in terms of women's safety. They were originally scheduled to be hanged at TiharJail on January 22, 2020. Six men were arrested in the case and one juvenile was sentenced to three years in jail, which is the maximum sentence that can be awarded to a minor. Another man died while serving his term for the crime. 

According to Indian law, a convict is informed of their execution two weeks ahead of the execution date and can make appeals resulting in moving the date. The Supreme Court will announce its decision on Mukesh's petition tomorrow.

 23-year-old Jyoti Singh was attacked in December 2012 while she was going home with a friend. The men had brutally raped her in the bus she was traveling in. She was violated and a metal rod was inserted inside her body. Her male friend was beaten and they were dumped by the men on the road after the episode was over. She succumbed to her injuries approximately two weeks later. The incident sparked protests all over the country and was the subject of two documentaries by BBC and Netflix. 

The men were sentenced to death in 2013. 

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