After the Patiala House Court issued an anticipated death warrant to execute the four rapists in the Nirbhaya case, Tihar jail officials wrote to the Uttar Pradesh Police, seeking the services of a hangman. The convicts who are lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail will be hanged till death on January 22 at 7 AM.
On Tuesday, subsequent to the verdict, Tihar jail officials wrote to the prison officials in Uttar Pradesh to inform them about the date and time of the execution as planned by the Court. With the absence of a hangman in Tihar, the jail authorities were reportedly approached other prisons in the country to provide them with a hangman. A hangman from Uttar Pradesh's Meerut, Pawan Jallad had expressed his desire to execute the convicts in the Nirbhaya case. He further said, "I think they all should be hanged, I am prepared to carry out the execution if I am asked to by the administration (Tihar jail), I will go to Delhi and carry out my duty. Rapists should be hanged for their shameful deed which has shocked the country."
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 - Dhananjay Chatterjee. Chatterjee who never confessed to raping and murdering a teenage girl was hanged in 2004 after his mercy petition was rejected by former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
Since India has witnessed only four executions in this century, India's biggest prison has never officially appointed a hangman. The need for a hangman was necessitated only in 2012 when then-President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy plea of 26/11 mastermind Ajmal Kasab. While Tihar jail sent for a job vacancy for a hangman, no one applied.
Elaborating on the hanging procedure, former DG Tihar said that a time of 14 days is given to prepare the prisoners mentally for their execution and to decide on which relative they would want to meet for one last time. The former DG Tihar further said all four of them would be hung together. He said, "14 days of time is given for the prisoner to prepare themselves mentally for hanging. Secondly, to decide on which relative to meet for the last time. The Jail Superintendent even pay for fare if they live far away or are unable to pay for the visit. "The cell will be surveillance twice a day. They will be labeled condemned prisoners. The well has been broadened so that all four can be hanged simultaneously," he added.
A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017.