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4 Convicts Hanged Together for the First Time in Tihar Jail

The execution of all four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case was a first for Tihar Jail.

Published
India
3 min read
All four men convicted in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case were hanged to death in Tihar Jail early morning on 20 March. 
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Seven years after the execution of Afzal Guru, prime accused in the 2001 Parliament attack, Delhi’s Tihar Jail saw the hanging of four men convicted in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. But what was new for India’s largest prison complex that houses more than 16,000 inmates was that for the first time in its history, four convicts were hanged together.

This is only the second instance in post-Independence India of four convictsbeing executed on the same day. On 25 October 1983, four were hanged to death in Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail for killing 10 people in the mid-1970s, according to Pune Mirror.

All four convicts in the Nirbhaya case – Pawan Kumar Gupta, Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay – were hanged by the jail authorities at 5:30 am on Friday, 20 March.

What Is the Procedure Before and After Hanging?

According to the jail manual, the jail superintendent oversees the testing of the ropes and inspect the gallows a day before the execution. This is followed by a dummy execution – a dummy or a bag of sand weighing 1.5 times the weight of the prisoner will be hanged and dropped between 1.830 and 2.440 metres to test the rope.

The families of the prisoner are not allowed to witness the executions.

The execution, the Delhi Prison Rules 2018 specify, takes place in the presence of the superintendent, deputy superintendent, medical officer in charge, resident medical officer and the district magistrate or additional district magistrate. A guard of not less than 10 constables, warders and two head constables, head warders or an equal number from the prison armed guard, are also present.

The families of the prisoners are not allowed to witness the executions. All other prisoners are kept locked up till the exercise is over – and the bodies are removed from the prison.

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The manual specifies that a medical officer prepares a report four days ahead of the date of execution, mentioning the length of the drop to be given to the prisoner who is to be executed. Two spare ropes for each prisoner sentenced to death are kept in reserve.

After testing, the rope and other equipment are locked and sealed in a steel box and kept in the charge of the deputy superintendent. If the prisoner wishes, a priest of his faith can be allowed.

On the morning of the execution, the prisoner is visited by senior officials, including the superintendent, the district magistrate and additional district magistrate and the medical officer, in his cell.

The body of the executed prisoner is disposed of according to the requirements of the religion to which the executed prisoner belonged. It is handed over the family following a post-mortem.

Any documents, including the prisoner’s will, can be signed and attested in the presence of the superintendent and the district magistrate or additional district magistrate. Just before entering the gallows-enclosure, a cotton cap with a flap is put on the prisoner’s face so that he can’t see the gallows, according to jail rules.

The wardens hold the prisoners and withdraw following a signal from the superintendent. After that, the hangman draws the bolt, the manual states.

The body of the executed prisoner is disposed of according to the requirements of the religion to which the executed prisoner belonged. It is handed over the family following a post-mortem. An ambulance is used for the transportation of the body to the cremation or burial ground.

(With PTI inputs)

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