New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) The BJP and the AAP engaged in a war of words on Thursday over 'delay' in hanging of the Nirbhaya case convicts, with the saffron party blaming it on the Delhi government's 'complicity' and 'sympathies' for them, while the AAP accused its rival of 'instigating' people with a 'lie'.
BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar said all the four convicts would have been hanged by now, had the AAP government acted quickly and served notices to them immediately after the Supreme Court rejected their appeal against death sentence in 2017.
Hitting back at the BJP, Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia dared the Centre to handover Delhi's law and order to his government for two days, claiming it will hang the convicts in the 2012 gangrape and murder case .
'If they have not been hanged yet, it is due to the AAP government's negligence... This delay of over two and a half years is due to the complicity of Delhi's AAP government. It has sympathies with these convicts, and this (delay) is a result of that,' Javadekar told a press conference.
However, Sisodia and his party colleague Sanjay Singh said the BJP leader has spoken a 'lie' and made 'insensitive' comments.
'Javadekar ji police is under you (Centre), responsibility of law and order is under you, home ministry is under you, Tihar DG and administration is under you and you are blaming us. Please don't stoop so low on a sensitive issue. This a clear attempt to instigate the people,' Sisodia said.
'I want to ask you (Javadekar) why are you not taking responsibility. If you are not able to handle law and order of Delhi, give us Delhi police and law and order responsibility for two days and we will hang Nirbhaya convicts,' he told reporters.
Singh said the BJP is responsible for whatever delay is taking place. 'The Union minister should apologise for ignoring such a sensitive matter,' he told reporters and added that law and order in the national capital falls under the Centre's domain.
Javadekar said the Delhi government should have served notices on the convicts within days. Justice would have been delivered by now, he said.
The four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case will not be hanged on January 22 as scheduled, with the Delhi government on Wednesday telling the high court that the execution has to be postponed in view of the pendency of a mercy petition by one of them.
As authorities and the victim's mother contended that the four men were 'frustrating' and 'intentionally' delaying the legal process by filing curative and mercy pleas in stages to postpone their execution, the Delhi government recommended rejecting Mukesh Kumar Singh's mercy plea to the President and forwarded it to the Lieutenant Governor.
The deputy chief minister told reporters that the action was taken at 'lightning speed'.
The four convicts -- Mukesh (32) Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25) — were to be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail. A Delhi court had issued their death warrants on January 7. PTI KR UZM UZM ANB ANB