The arrangements of execution of the four rapists convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case have already begun at Tihar Jail in Delhi, the officials confirmed.
According to reports, officers in Tihar, the largest prison in Asia, said special ropes for the execution are being brought from jail in Bihar’s Buxar, which also sent ropes for the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013. The authorities have also written to other states for services of hangmen and have begun inspections of the courtyard as well as the equipment that will be used to carry out the execution.
“We have ordered 10 new ropes from the Buxar jail. We are making preparations so that when the time comes, everything is in place. The ropes are made in Buxar jail by prisoners. They have to be of a particular type and should not break during the hanging or cut the throat. We had some old ropes but we did not want to take a chance,” said a Tihar officer speaking to Hindustan Times.
Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh are on death row for the gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old woman who was tortured on a bus that she and a friend boarded in south Delhi’s Munirka. A fifth adult suspect in the case, Ram Singh committed suicide in prison before the trial ended and another accused was a juvenile at the time of the crime.
Reportedly, a dummy execution has also been carried out to test the gallows. The convicts are all in different cells and being monitored through CCTV. Arrangements for the hanging are being made in Jail Number 3, where executions are scheduled to be taking place.
An official in Tihar had recently said that they were in search for a hangman. “We don’t have a hangman. We will get one from some other state when needed,” ANI had quoted an unnamed Tihar Jail official as saying.
Anand Kumar, Director General (DG) of UP prisons administration and reform services, said that they have received a request letter from the Tihar prison through fax on December 9 (Monday) seeking services of the two hangmen of UP.
Another Tihar officer has also confirmed that the department has written to not just Uttar Pradesh but to several states for the services of a hangman for the execution of Nirbhaya rapists.
“If we do not get a hangman, it can be done by any jail official. We have to follow the manual and the process. Before Afzal’s hanging, we used the services of a hangman from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh,” this officer said.
Last week, the Delhi government and the Centre had rejected the mercy petitions of one of the convicts – Vinay Sharma – and sent it back urging President Ram Nath Kovind to turn it down, clearing the way for the execution of the four convicts.
Another convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, has also filed a review petition now. Akshay Singh, in a bizarre argument, has asked Supreme Court to spare him the death penalty since life in Delhi is anyway getting ‘short’ due to air and water pollution. The court has already rejected similar petitions from Vinay Kumar, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta.
Delhi student Nirbhaya was brutally raped in the most barbaric manner inside a moving bus and was left to die on the road on December 16, 2012. She was later sent for treatment to Singapore but had succumbed to her injuries. The case had generated widespread public outrage both nationally and internationally and has made a huge impact in the psyche of the nation.