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Before the end came: sleepless night, cries for forgiveness | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: The convicts in the Nirbhaya case – Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta – had a sleepless night. When the clock struck 3.30 am on Friday, they were removed from their solitary cells in jail number 3 to prepare for the execution.

The quartet kept asking if a new order had been approved by a court across the country. During the night, Gupta continued to apologize to the jailers who begged to let him go, while Singh withdrew himself.

On Thursday night Singh and Sharma ate rice, dal and vegetables for dinner, while Thakur had a cup of tea. They were offered breakfast, but they refused. They did not bathe and refused to wear the clothes given to them by the prison authorities.

At around 4.30 in the morning, District Magistrate Neha Bansal read them the order to execute the death sentence. He met them individually to ask for their last wish. The sources said that Gupta and Thakur said nothing, while Singh gave the DM a written note asking him to donate his organs. Sharma requested that his “paintings” be turned over to the prison superintendent and his copy of Hanuman Chalisa and an image of God to his parents.

A medical examination was performed during which prison doctors measured their weight and checked their vital signs to declare them fit to hang. Meanwhile, the executioner, Pawan Jallad, prepared the knots made from manila ropes and softened with bananas and butter.

After the DM’s visit, the convicts were allowed to remain alone for a time to remember their family and loved ones. Prison officials then went to their cells and asked them to wear white cotton clothing. This time, Sharma collapsed and pleaded with prison officials to let him go. He refused to wear the clothes. Singh, Gupta and Thakur asked officials to allow them to meet Sharma, but their request was rejected.

A team of prison officials, including the Tamil Nadu superintendent, deputy superintendent, guards, and special police officers, assisted the convicts in wearing the clothing, and each was then escorted by six staff from security to the hanging well.

Sources said Sharma refused to accompany the jail employees and went to bed outside his cell. The guardians had to take him to the well. Before entering the well, their faces were covered with a black cloth so that they could not see the gallows.

Prison authorities had requested the presence of Delhi Police armed guards near the gallows. The condemned were led to the platform where the hangman placed the rope around his neck. The men continued to resist until the rope tightened.

At 5.30 in the morning, the superintendent instructed the executioner to pull the two levers that held the plate under his feet. The four men were suspended in the well and stood still after writhing for a short time, jail sources said. They were left at the post until 6 am, after which a doctor entered the well to confirm that they had died.

The bodies were removed and stored in the prison facilities. At around 8 a.m., the bodies were brought in four separate autopsy ambulances to the DDU Hospital. Family members were allowed to take the bodies after they declared that they would not hold protest marches. As the hangings continued, the other prisoners in the Tihar prison were locked up. Instead of the usual time of 6.30 in the morning, they were allowed to start their daily routine half an hour late.

(The identity of the victim has not been revealed to protect his privacy according to the directives of the Supreme Court in cases related to sexual assault)

Times of India

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