Dummy execution for Nirbhaya's rapists performed at Tihar jail
For the first time in history, four men will be hanged simultaneously inside New Delhi's Tihar jail on January 22. And on Sunday, prison authorities performed a dummy execution to test noose's strength. Sacks filled with sand, debris, and stones, and weighing exactly like the convicts were used. Since the trial execution was successful, the ropes were sent for safekeeping.
The four convicts awaiting their deaths are Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Singh (31). Along with another man, named Ram Singh, and a juvenile, they raped a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, Nirbhaya inside a bus in Delhi in 2012. They inserted iron rods in her private parts, thrashed her friend, and left them to die on streets, sparking nationwide outrage.
A protracted legal battle later, a city court signed death warrants for the convicts last week. Welcoming the development, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said justice was finally delivered to her daughter. But Vinay Sharma and Mukesh filed a curative plea in Supreme Court, challenging the death sentence. Their request will be heard by a five-judge bench tomorrow. Others chose against challenging the verdict.
Not concerning themselves with the outcome in SC, Tihar authorities began preparations for the hanging. The hanging courtyard, which had a provision to execute only two people at once, was revamped to accommodate two more. Lodged in two different cells currently, the men will be shifted to jail number 3 before execution. They are now putting up at jail numbers 2 and 4.
Following protocol, the four convicts have been put under high-security. Two CCTV cameras monitor each cell, while two-three jail officials keep an eye on them round the clock. An officer said they are behaving normally and have not done anything unusual. "Maybe it is yet to sink in or maybe they still believe their hanging will be stalled," the officer told HT.
"As of now, they get to meet their families twice a week like other prisoners but once the Supreme Court takes a decision, this will change; they will be allowed to meet their families only one last time," the officer said.
Notably, authorities of Asia's largest prison facility had purchased ropes to hang the convicts last month itself from Buxar jail. The jail in Bihar is the only place where hanging ropes, which are soft yet strong, are made since the British era. Yarn used for the rope is made from cotton that Punjab supplies. Nirbhaya's rapists will be executed by Meerut-based Pawan Jallad.