After nearly eight years, Nithari death convict Surendra Koli’s mother Kunti Devi met him in the district jail on Thursday and claimed that her son was innocent.
Devi — who still lives in their paternal village Mungrukhal in Almora district of Uttarakhand — spent over 45 minutes with her son. Koli is facing the gallows for the murder of a minor who went missing in 2006.
According to jail officials, Koli broke into tears after seeing his mother and claimed that he was innocent. He also expressed his desire to meet his wife and children who live in Delhi.
Speaking to mediapersons outside the jail, a visibly shattered Devi said that Koli’s landlord Moninder Pandher was the real culprit and he should be hanged.
She claimed that her son was being made a scapegoat. The sessions court of Ghaziabad had issued a death warrant against Koli in the Nithari case and ordered that he be hanged till death before September 12.
Thereafter, he was shifted to Meerut jail from Ghaziabad on September 4 where all preparations were made for the hanging on September 8. But in a last-minute reprieve, the Supreme Court stayed his hanging till next Monday.
Having missed the noose by hours on Monday after the Supreme Court deferred his execution by a week, Koli was supposedly spending uneasy moments inside his high-security prison cell and has turned to religious books.
“He (Koli) is enquiring from prison staff about the date when he would be executed and if the whole procedure was a painful and long one,” a prison official said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad had issued the death warrant for Koli earlier, after his mercy petition was rejected by the President.
The death warrant was sent to Koli’s mother at his parental house in Mungrukhal village to get her signature or thumb impression. But she refused to sign the petition, stating that she first wanted to meet her son.
A group of people, with the help of a few social activists from Muzaffarnagar, brought Devi to Meerut on Thursday to fulfil her wish.
With agency inputs