With December 16 drawing close, the day when one of the most brutal rapes rocked the country’s conscience, an air of finality has descended on the Nirbhaya convicts. The Tihar jail officials have sought the services of two hangmen from Uttar Pradesh.
Director General (DG) of UP Prisons (Administration and Reform Services), Anand Kumar has confirmed that the Tihar jail superintendent had written a letter to the Uttar Pradesh prison authorities seeking services of two hangmen.
The UP Prison authorities received the request after Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts in the 2012 gang rape case, was shifted to Tihar Jail from Mandoli jail late on Sunday night.
Three other convicts in the case — Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, and Vinay Sharma — are already in Tihar Jail.
“We received a request letter from the Tihar prison through fax on December 9 seeking services of the two hangmen of UP, as they do not have hangman there. The letter makes no mention of the convicts to be hanged,” Anand Kumar said.
He said the letter mentioned that some convicts in Tihar jail have been awarded capital punishment and their legal and constitutional remedies had been exhausted. The four men have been on death row for two years.
He said the hangmen would be provided to the Tihar jail authorities as and when required. He said the date and timings were not mentioned by the Tihar jail authorities so the two hangmen have been told to remain prepared in case they were called for the execution of convicts anytime soon.
Prison officials said the UP prison administration has two hangmen on its rolls, one in Lucknow and another in Meerut.
Pawan, the only ‘certified’ hangman in Uttar Pradesh, lives in Meerut and has been informally informed that he may be needed soon.
Pawan’s family have been hangmen for four generations now.
“We do not get emotional about this. If a person is to be hanged, he must have something very wrong. My only concern is that death for the convict should be as painless as possible because he is already facing the fear of death,” Pawan said.
He said that he had learned the technique of hanging from his grandfather and father.
About three years ago, he was assigned the task of hanging the Nithari killing accused Surendra Koli but the hanging was put off at the last moment.
Meanwhile, in the Nirbhaya case that took place on December 16, 2012, six persons brutally raped a 23-year-old paramedic in a moving bus. She was accompanied by a friend who was also beaten up and later, both of them were thrown out of the vehicle.
The girl had suffered critical injuries and later died during treatment. The brutality of the crime led to national outrage and new legislation was formed to deal with such heinous crimes.
Of the six persons convicted, one was a minor and was released after a three-year term. One accused Ram Singh committed suicide inside Tihar jail while four others namely, Akshay Singh Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, and Vinay Sharma are awaiting death warrant.