Akshay Thakur is among the four men who were sentenced to death on Friday for the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in New Delhi."Court's order is on expected line due to heavy pressure from people across the country. We were hoping against hope," Akshay's father Saryu Singh said.

"Even God has left us at the mercy of the court that awarded capital punishment to my son," said Saryu Singh, a marginal farmer in his 60s, over telephone from Lahang Karma village under Nabinagar police station jurisdiction in the Maoist affected Aurangabad district, about 150 km.

Akshay's mother Malti Devi and Akshay's wife Punita Devi are inconsolable after they watched news that four men including Akshay were sentenced to death."For all of us, it is the saddest news. My mother and sister-in-law have been crying and have fainted at least thrice after they watched the news," Abhay Singh, one of the two brothers of Akshay Thakur, said.

Abhay said that the entire family and some relatives remain glued to TV to catch the news since early on Friday."We watched TV and were hopeful for some relief. It proved useless as Akshay's fate was decided the day he was convicted by the court. The sentence was merely delivered now," he said.

Dinesh Singh, another brother of Akshay, said that dozens of local media persons and people from nearby villages gathered outside his house to know the mood of the family after the court's order. The four men - Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur - were convicted on Tuesday in the case that shook the nation.

The judge sentenced the four to death for murdering the 23-year-old physiotherapist. The judge on Wednesday had found the four guilty on 13 counts, including murder, gang rape and dacoity.

Six people, including a juvenile, brutally gang raped the 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in Delhi. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle without clothes. The woman died of her grave intestinal injuries on December 29.


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