Curtains dropped on the December 16 Delhi gangrape case on Friday after the four convicts were hanged till death at the Tihar jail. The execution of the rapists came as a sigh of relief for Nirbhaya's parents, who had been struggling for justice for 7 years, 3 years and 4 days. The gruesome gangrape case had brought the nation together against such heinous crimes against women. Post the execution of the convicts, Nirbhaya's mother thanked the judiciary and said her daughter rests in peace today. "I hugged my daughter's picture before the convicts were hanged," Asha Devi said. Nirbhaya was gangraped on a moving white bus, which she and her friend had boarded from Munirka area of Delhi.
The woman, who succumbed to injuries as a result of the brutal assault, was waiting with her male friend at the Munirka bus stand when a white bus with yellow and green stripes came near them with a young boy was shouting out for passengers going towards Dwarka and Palam Mod.
A missing hubcap on a wheel and a white colour bus were the main clues that led the police to zero in on the vehicle where a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was brutally gangraped on the fateful evening of December 16, 2012.
Nirbhaya and her male friend had boarded the bus but little did she know, it would turn out to be her last bus journey and one that would haunt the city forever.
Inside the bus, her male friend was attacked while the woman, who came to be known as 'Nirbhaya', was brutally gangraped by the six occupants of the bus.
Tracing the bus was the first step in the investigation. One of the investigating teams woke up Delhi Transport Department officials in the early hours to get details of all white buses registered with them, former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar has written in his book 'Khaki Files'.
Soon, the police had the details of 320 white buses. Their search was further streamlined after some other teams scanned the CCTV footage from all hotels and guesthouses on the national highway.
"Interestingly, the police teams noticed a white bus with 'Yadav' painted on its side in the CCTV footage of Hotel Delhi Airport.
The bus was seen coming from Delhi, seemingly heading for Gurugram, but within nineteen minutes, at 9.53 pm, it reappeared on the screen, heading again in the same direction," Kumar has written in his book.
The footage was shown to Nirbhaya's friend who identified the bus since its hubcap was missing on the front left wheel.
Subsequently, police identified one Dinesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh's Noida, as the owner of the bus, who confirmed that he owned a bus that had red seat covers, yellow curtains and Yadav written on its side, according to the book.
The bus owner also revealed to the investigators that the bus driver was named Ram Singh who lived in a shanty of Guru Ravi Das Camp in RK Puram. From Ravidas camp, the bus was recovered and Singh was also nabbed.
After the recovery of the bus, another challenge confronted the police-- that of keeping the bus safe.
According to investigators, parking the bus inside the Vasant Vihar police station was not a safe option since the station had been witnessing protests against the rape and there was a danger that the bus could be vandalised.
The investigators got the bus parked at the Thyagraj Stadium parking lot and forensic teams were called there for examination.