New Delhi: It was 3 a.m. on Friday when all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case, (Delhi’s infamous 2012 rape of a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern in a moving bus) were taken out from their barracks for a brief time. They were already awake as the “fear to be hanged” did not allow them to sleep. When the jail authorities asked them to finish their routine work and wear the new clothes provided by the jail authorities, they all broke down and fell at the feet of the jail staff.
“It’s not right to reveal their identity, but they were not in the right state of mind and wanted to talk to jail workers but could not say a single word. They even refused to have tea when it was offered,” a Tihar jail source said.
According to a Tihar headquarters source, “At around 5 a.m. the DCP of West District reached to meet these convicts. The Jail Superintendent introduced them to the DCP. Thereafter, they completed the documentation formalities.”
“After completing the documentation, they were taken out from their cells and their faces were covered with cloth,” he added.
An officer, requesting anonymity, said, “They were not reacting to anything before their faces were covered but soon after they realised that they have reached the hanging room, one of them broke down and started crying and screaming. He almost fell down on the floor. But the jail staff took him to the hanging platform”.
Each of the convicts was accompanied by six wardens who took them to the hanging platform.
When their feet were being tied, one of them started resisting but the security personnel restrained him. The convicts’ hands were tied when they were taken out of their cells.
Now, it was the time to deliver justice to Nirbhaya. All the convicts were supposed to be hanged at the same time but Pawan was the only hangman there to pull the lever, hence, the jail staff helped in pulling the other handles.
Finally, at 5.30 a.m. when Jail Superintendent S. Sunil signalled that it was time to hang the convicts, Pawan and the other persons pulled the handles. After 30 minutes, the doctor who was present there, declared the convicts dead and their bodies were sent for post-mortem to Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital.
The Nirbhaya rape case prompted outrage around the world and in India, where protesters demanded justice for Nirbhaya, a pseudonym given to the student that means “fearless.” Under Indian law, victims of certain crimes cannot be named.
By Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan