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Saturday 25 January 2020

Hanging Nirbhaya case convicts: The procedure

What happens on the day designated for execution by hanging at Tihar: From waking the convict up at 5 AM to issuing of the death certificate

There is no decision yet on the mercy plea to the president and review petition to the Supreme Court filed by Nirbhaya’s convicts to avert their execution by hanging. Despite this, the jail administration wants to be ready for every situation on its behalf. The convicts on death row Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Sharma are lodged in Tihar Jail No. 2. Thakur has appealed to the apex court while Vinay Sharma has sought clemency from President Ram Nath Kovind.

According to jail sources, if a death warrant is issued for the culprits, the execution of the execution will take about six hours.

This will be the first time that the hanging house built in Tihar Jail No-3 will remain open for so long. Jail number three will remain closed during this time.

According to jail sources, the day a convict is hanged, he is picked up at 5 AM. After he bathes, he is brought to the open yard in front of the hanging house. The jail superintendent, deputy superintendent, medical officer, subdivisional magistrate and security staff are present here. The magistrate asks the convict his last wish. During this period, the property is usually mentioned in the name of someone or writing a letter to someone. The convict has about 15 minutes.

The executioner then dresses the convict in black. The convict’s hands are pulled behind and tied with a rope or handcuffs. The process of taking the prisoner to the hanging house, which is about 100 steps away from there, begins. After arriving at the cell for execution, the convict is taken to the roof. There, the executioner covers the face of the convict with a black cloth and fixes the noose around his neck. The convict’s feet are then tied with a rope. When the executioner finds the arrangement all okay, he signals the jail superintendent and tells him that his arrangements have been completed. Then he awaits the order.

As the jail superintendent nods, the executioner pulls the lever. In one stroke, the convict swings on the noose. Two hours later, the medical officer goes inside the hanging house to make sure that the person hanging on the noose has died. Eventually, the medical officer issues the death certificate. The process of bringing the prisoner before the magistrate and issuing the death certificate takes about three hours.

The hanging house built in Tihar Jail No. 3 has a provision to hang a maximum of two convicts at a time. If the culprits of Nirbhaya are hanged, this work can be done only in two different stages. This way, the entire process of hanging four convicts will take about six hours.

The movement in the prison is stopped during the execution. The prisoners are locked in their barracks or cells. Security is tightened at all places. The main door of the jail remains closed during this time.

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