With January 22 being set as the date of execution for the four Nirbhaya rapists, the former DG of Tihar jail - Sunil Gupta, explained the hanging procedure followed. He said that 14 days was the customary time given to the prisoners to mentally prepare and to decide on which relatives they would meet. Currently, Tihar has no hangman and has sought hangmen services from UP prisons.
"The 14 days time is given to prepare the prisoner mentally for hanging. Secondly, to decide on which relative to meet for the last time, even Jail Superintendent pay for fare if they live far away and are unable to pay for the visit," he said to ANI.
Speaking on the security arrangements prior to the hanging he said that the cell will be surveillanced twice a day and the prisoners will be labelled as 'condemned prisoners. Moreover, he informed that the hanging 'well' has been broadened to facilitate the hanging of all four convicts at the same time. Furthermore, he revealed that the last wish which is customarily asked to a prisoner is the will for transfer of movable and immovable assets and not of last food or something of the sort.
After a seven-year-long wait, the Patiala House Court issued the death warrant for the execution of the 4 convicts and set the execution date as January 22 at 7 AM. Until then, the convicts can exercise the remaining legal remedies. All the convicts were produced before the court via video-conferencing. Earlier, the court reserved its order after hearing the arguments from the counsels of all the parties in the case. Previously, the Court adjourned the hearing to January 7 giving one week to the convicts' to file mercy plea and to exercise all their remaining legal remedies.
India's last official hangman was Nata Mallick - who executed the hanging of Dhananjay Chatterjee in 2004 at Alipur Central jail, as per reports. Reports state that while Mallick has seen over a hundred men sent to the death row, he has hanged only one - Dhannajay Chatterjee. Since India has witnessed only four executions in this century, India's biggest prison has never officially appointed a hangman. While Tihar jail sent for a job vacancy for a hangman in 2012 when then-President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy plea of 26/11 mastermind Ajmal Kasab, no one applied.
One of India's few registered hangmen - Pawan Kumar who has applied to be Tihar's next hangman is still waiting for his first execution inspite of there having been three executions since 2011. While Kasab's execution was carried out by a police constable in the Pune's Yerwada jail, Afzal Guru's execution was held in secrecy and the same constable who hanged Ajmal Kasab was tapped to hang 1993 Bombay blast convict Yakub Memon at Nagpur Central jail on 30 July 2015. Tihar has approached UP for the hanging of Nirbhaya's rapists.