Nirbhaya Convicts’ Final Moments Before Execution

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New Delhi- None of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case put up any resistance when they were being taken to the gallows on Friday but Vinay Sharma broke down, a Tihar jail official said.

The convicts also did not show any signs of anxiety on the night before their execution and skipped breakfast on Friday, he said.

Mukesh Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) – convicted for the gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern in 2012 – were hanged at 5.30 am.

“The four convicts showed no signs of anxiety last evening or put up any resistance while being taken to the gallows for hanging. Vinay broke down when he was being taken for the execution,” the official said.

Anticipating that the convicts might show some resistance, strongmen had been kept on standby, he said.

According to the official, only Sharma and Mukesh Singh had dinner on Thursday night.

“Vinay and Mukesh had their dinner properly on time (on Thursday night). The meal comprised roti, dal, rice and sabzi. Akshay had tea in the evening but did not have dinner. All the four convicts did not have breakfast (on Friday),” he said.

The convicts also did not take a bath or change clothes before they were taken to the gallows, he added.

Before the four were hanged, the official said, they were identified by the jail superintendent and the death warrant was read out in the presence of the district magistrate and other officials.

After the final death warrant was issued by a Delhi court earlier this month, all convicts except Akshay Kumar met their families. Mukesh Singh’s family last met him around 12 pm on Thursday. The meeting lasted for 30 minutes, he said.

According to the official, the four men were asked if they wanted to prepare a will before their execution but they refused.

All of them were moved to isolation cells after the first death warrant in the case was issued by a court. The cells were being guarded by four-five security personnel, he said, adding that all the procedures as per the jail manual were followed for the execution.

The four convicts were declared dead by a doctor half-an-hour after they were hanged, Director General of Tihar Jail Sandeep Goel had said earlier.

The bodies were handed over to the convicts’ families after post-mortem at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital. All their belongings were also handed over to their families.

Hangman Pawan performed his duty very efficiently from tying the rope to executing them, the official said.

Hours before the execution, Gupta had approached the Supreme Court to challenge the rejection of his second mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind.

The court, in an unprecedented late-night hearing that began at 2.30 am and lasted an hour, dismissed his plea, paving the way for the execution.

It also refused to pass any direction allowing Gupta and Akshay Singh to meet their family members before they were sent to the gallows.

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