In a first in the history of post-1947 India, a woman convicted of murders involving the axing of seven members of her family to death will be hanged at the Mathura jail. The date of execution is yet to be fixed, as no death warrant has been issued so far. Shabnam, who hails from District Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh, was convicted for murdering seven members of her family in connivance with her paramour Salim.
All the courts tried and awarded death to Shabnam. The Supreme Court upheld her punishment. The President of India rejected her mercy petition.
Shabnam will be hanged at the single female hanging house built in Mathura jail.
Preparations are afoot for the hanging. Pawan Jallad of Meerut, who had executed the convicts of Nirbhaya’s gang rape and brutal murder case, has reportedly made several visits to the hanging house in Mathura jail and suggested some modifications.
On 14 April 2008, Shabnam, the daughter of Shaukat Ali, a teacher from Village Bawankheda in the Hasanpur police station area of District Amroha, had brutally murdered seven of her family members including her father, mother, and even a 10-month old nephew. She, along with her lover Salim, served the entire family food laced with sedatives and, when everyone fell unconscious, she axed them to death.
Shabnam, a postgraduate in geography and English, fell for Salim, an illiterate labourer. Her family was dead against her relationship with Salim. Their objection led to their own massacre.
Police arrested both Shabnam and Salim. Salim admitted to his role in the massacre. Later, Salim led the police to recover the axe used for the murders.
As the jail authorities prepare for the hanging, Shabnam will have the distinction of being the first woman prisoner to be hanged since Independence from the British rule.
The first hanging house for women convicts on death row was built in Mathura jail almost 150 years ago, but no woman has been executed there since 1947. While a woman from Lucknow called Ramshri had been sentenced to death earlier on 6 April 1998, her sentence was commuted into life imprisonment at the last moment after she gave birth to a child inside the jail.
Mathura jail superintendent Shailendra Kumar Maitreya said that the date of hanging was not fixed yet, but preparations for the procedure had started. Shabnam will be hanged as soon as the death warrant is issued, he said.
Maitreya confirmed that Pawan Jallad, who had repaired the latch in the hanging house during one of his visits, would be the executioner. Other modifications according to the requirement of the executioner, have been carried out already. The hanging rope is coming from District Buxar of Bihar, the officer added.