The members of families of the four persons convicted for gang-raping Nirbhaya and tormenting her physically to the extent that led to her death have been officially told that the convicts will be hanged on 1 February. The Tihar Jail administration is busy fulfilling the formalities before the execution, with less than nine days to go for the day.
The jail administration has written a letter to the relatives of Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma that mentions the date the culprits will be executed. The letter tells the kin that, as per the death warrant issued by the court, they will be hanged on 1 February at 6 AM. If they wish, the letter says, they can have a final meeting with the culprits before that.
The jail administration has not received any reply from any of the relatives since the despatch of this letter, though.
Before this, the different appeals by the convicts against their death sentence one by one had reduced the criminal justice system of the country to a joke.
Meanwhile, the biggest concern for Tihar Jail officials has been their safety even as they are implementing all the rules set for the convicts on death row mentioned in the jail manual. Now the prison authority is changing the barrack of the convicts daily. Every time, the authority ensures that the guards on duty can keep a watch on the goings-on inside the four cells. The jail deputy superintendent is himself responsible for their security.
The Tihar Jail authority inspects a barrack with four cells to ensure there is nothing there with the help of which the convicts can attempt to commit suicide or hurt one another. While they are in one barrack, cell walls barricade them off from one another. Only after complete satisfaction of the deputy superintendent does the permission to keep the convicts in the cells of a barrack arrive.
The security guard present outside is instructed not to talk to the inmates. If one of the four has to be taken out of his cell, a sufficient number of guards accompanies him.
Just a few days ago, the Tihar administration moved the four convicts Akshay, Vinay, Pawan and Mukesh from their respective cells and kept them in the high-security cells of Jail No. 3. There is a hanging house in this jail.
Physicians are checking the health conditions of the convicts daily. The doctors conduct the checkup once in the morning and then in the evening. They weigh the convicts every time.
The Tihar prison administration has made a diet chart for the convicts on the advice of a dietician. The food served to the inmates is strictly in accordance with this chart. The doctors advise the convicts to keep their diets normal. They are not allowed to waste food under any circumstances.
The counselling involves a psychiatrist advising the convicts to keep their behaviour normal to avoid excessive stress. Jail sources say there has been a slight change in the behaviour of the convicts since the issuance of the death warrant. The counselling has turned more rigorous since then, the sources said.