The four convicts in the Nirbhaya case spent a restless night at Delhi’s Tihar Jail before their hanging before dawn today. Their last few hours were spent in isolation, in separate cells at Jail 3, jail officials said.
Akshay Thakur, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, were hanged at 5:30 this morning, giving closure to the family of a young medical student who was gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012.
The execution took place less than two hours after the Supreme Court dismissed the final petition of the convicts.
“The convicts had not expressed any last wish or will to authorities,” an official said.
They were woken at 3:30 am, around the time they learnt they had reached the end of the road in courts.
The four men refused to have their breakfast, their last meal before being taken to the gallows and were up much of the night, prison officials. They were asked to take a bath but none of them did.
The entire jail was on lockdown since last night, and officials said, few other prisoners in Asia’s largest prison facility could sleep a wink ahead of the first execution since 2015.
Jail doctors did a medical check-up of the four men. There were only five people who witnessed the hanging. The jail superintendent, deputy superintendent, the resident medical officer, the district magistrate and another jail staff member.
The execution was carried out by hangman Pawan Jallad who had done several “dummy executions”.
Three convicts – Pawan, Vinay and Mukesh -did labour work at Tihar Jail. The money for the work they did did during their time in prison will be sent to their families, jail officials said. Akshay Thakur, however, has no earnings as he did not engage in any labour work at Tihar. All their belongings too will be sent to their families.
Before he was taken to the gallows, Vinay pleaded with jail officials and sought forgiveness, jail sources said. Vinay had earlier in February attempted to hurt himself by banging his head against a wall in his cell.
Their bodies were kept hanging for 30 minutes as per the protocol in Delhi Prison Rule, following which a doctor declared them dead. A five-member panel will do the post-mortem before they are disposed as per their religion.