‘Life’s short, let air pollution kill us!’ India gang-rape & murder convict files ridiculous petition to delay execution

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One of five perpetrators of a notorious rape and murder in India has made a bizarre last-ditch effort to dodge death penalty, insisting that India’s poor air quality has already shortened his lifespan enough.

The absurd petition, written in rudimentary English, was recently submitted to the Supreme Court through the inmate’s lawyer.

“Everyone is aware of what is happening in [New Delhi] with regard to water and air. Life is going from short to [shorter], then why the death penalty?” asked the convict, Akshay Singh, adding that air in the city is “like a gas chamber” and “full of poison.”

The inmate also cited Hindu religious texts, arguing that “people lived for thousands of years” previously – he did not specify when – and that average lifespans had steadily fallen. “When age is reducing, why [the] death penalty?” the convict reasoned.

The appeal is unlikely to be accepted by the court, having rejected all of Singh’s previous attempts to overturn his execution, granting only temporary delays to date.

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Singh, along with four others, was convicted for the rape, torture and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student, attacked by the gang as she traveled on a New Delhi bus late one night in 2012. The victim, who came to be known by the nickname “Nirbhaya” (“fearless”), survived the initial assault, but succumbed to severe internal injuries some 12 days later. Her death sparked widespread outrage across India, culminating in mass demonstrations calling for the men’s execution, which even sparked clashes with riot police in New Delhi.

While anger among Indians persists seven years on from the heinous crime, the reaction to Singh’s outlandish appeal ranged from hatred to hilarity online, with netizens venting their rage at the killer – and critiquing his bad grammar.

“Like seriously!!!! On [the grounds] of such ridiculous petitions these devils are still alive! Were they so kind when they decided to rape!” one commenter asked.

Some also wondered aloud about the “knowledgeable” attorney who helped file the appeal, while others were suspicious, arguing the petition was deliberately designed to be rejected.

The four surviving convicts – one died in custody soon after the incident under mysterious circumstances – are expected to be put to death sometime later this month, possibly on or around the anniversary of the attack, December 16.

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