As Tihar preps for 5.30 am execution, 4 death row convicts in silent mode

Jail officers said that on Wednesday they carried out dummy executions inside phansi kotha( hanging courtyard) and inspected the hanging courtyard inside jail 3 again on Thursday morning.
2012 Delhi gang rape convicts Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma.(HT photo)
2012 Delhi gang rape convicts Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma.(HT photo)
Updated on Mar 19, 2020 04:32 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent

With less 16 hours left before the four convicts of the December 16 gangrape case are to be hanged, Delhi’s Tihar jail authorities have begun the final preparations.

At exactly 5.30 am on Friday the four men -- Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma -- will be hanged simultaneously inside jail number 3.

Jail officers said that on Wednesday they carried out dummy executions inside phansi kotha( hanging courtyard). A team of jail officers along with the hangman, Pawan Jallad inspected the hanging courtyard inside jail 3 again on Thursday morning.

Also read: President refuses to consider Delhi rape convicts’ mercy plea, hanging set for tomorrow

The 10 ropes to be used for hanging that were brought from Buxar, Bihar that have been tied to the beam at the gallows will be checked one last time on Thursday evening.

Pawan Jallad, a Meerut resident, is from the Uttar Pradesh prisons department and has been brought by the Tihar jail authorities for the execution.

Watch | ‘4th but final’: Dec 16 rape victim’s kin hopeful of convicts’ hanging 

Pawan is being paid Rs 15,000 per hanging. This will be the first time when four men will be hanged simultaneously inside Tihar.

Along with Pawan, only a few officers such as the jail superintendent and the prison’s doctor will be present on Friday morning.

“In the evening we will prepare the hanging courtyard one last time before the execution. The jail superintendents will talk to the convicts in the evening and ask them if they wish to write a letter or have a final wish. They have been counselled by the prison trained counsellors,” said a prison officer, who did not wish to be named.

The officer added that the execution process will be complete before 6.30 am.

The four men are currently lodged in Jail number 3 next to the hanging courtyard. Each convict is lodged separately and guarded by at least 2-3 jail wardens who monitor their movements round-the-clock.

A second prison officer said, who also did not wish to be named, said that until Wednesday the convicts did not show any signs of nervousness but on Thursday most of them kept to themselves.

“Until a few days ago it did not look like they were on a death row. The hanging has already been postponed twice. They have not even made any specific demands as their last wish. They did not exhibit any signs of depression or fear but since Wednesday night, their behaviour has changed. We have been told that they are not speaking much with the prison guards, “ the second officer said.

While the preparations are on, the jail authorities are also keeping an eye on the developments at a Delhi court which will hear their application to seek a stay on the execution on the ground that two convicts have filed a second mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind.

The President has rejected the first set of mercy petitions filed by the four convicts.

The four men had assaulted and gang raped a 23-year-old paramedic student inside a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. The young woman died at a hospital in Singapore two weeks later.

The last hanging inside Tihar was of Afzal Guru on February 9, 2013. Guru was convicted for his role in the 2001 Parliament attack case.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021