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Tihar death convicts are feeling homesick

delhi Updated: Mar 31, 2010 00:12 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
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On death row for the past several years, two high-profile Tihar prison inmates want to shift to jails closer to their homes.

December 2001 Parliament attack case convict Muhammed Afzal Guru and 1993 Delhi blast convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar have requested the Delhi government to transfer them to jails in Kashmir and Punjab, respectively.

Both are death convicts with pending mercy petitions and lodged in sub-jail number 3, ward number 8.

“Their requests were on humanitarian grounds,” said a prison source requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to talk. "They think it would make them stay closer to their relatives on a regular basis."

While Guru wants to be shifted to a Srinagar jail, Bhullar prefers the jail in Amritsar.

Guru's wife Tabassum, son Ghalib and brother Hilal are based in Srinagar; Bhullar's relatives, including mother Upkar Kaur, are based in Punjab.

Guru's mercy petition is pending since 2006, Bhullar's since 2003.

Guru was convicted of conspiracy in the 2001 attack case. Bhullar was convicted of the same charge in the September 1993 Delhi blast case.

The duo's request applications, drafted by their respective lawyers, have referred to a central law — Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950.

The Act lays down the rules of transferring a prisoner from one state jail to another state's jail, provided the latter's government approves the transfer request by an inmate.

Guru and Bhullar occupy high-security single cells that are under closed-circuit

television camera vigil round the clock.

The duo's life on the death row goes by the clock: Their day begins at 5.30 a.m. with a headcount and ends with another at 10.30 p.m.

Tea and bread slices are served at 7 a.m. and at 4 p.m.

Their lunch comes at 11 a.m. sharp and dinner is at 6 p.m., and there's a two-hour 'leisure period' between 3 and 5 p.m. They do not need to work, unlike other convicts.