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As execution nears, no word from Nirbhaya convicts on last meeting with family

NEW DELHI: The four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case are yet to inform the Tihar jail authorities about when they want to meet their families for the last time or whom they want to will their property, officials said on Thursday, nine days ahead of their execution date set by a Delhi court.

The four convicts, Vinay Shrama (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31), Mukesh Kumar Singh (32) and Pawan Gupta (25), who are lodged in separate cells of Jail No 3 where the execution will take place, are scheduled to be hanged at 6 am on February 1.

“After the death warrants were issued, the convicts were asked when they would like to meet their respective families for the last time and if so, who all do they wish to meet. But none of them have responded yet,” a senior jail official, elaborating about the procedure before executing death row convicts, said.

The official said the convicts were also asked if they would want to prepare their will, but they have not responded yet.

“The family of all the four convicts are allowed to meet them twice a week but the last date of meeting has not been fixed because they still have not responded,” he said.

On Wednesday, in a plea filed by the Centre before the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs said heinous crime convicts are taking the “judicial process for a ride”.

They demanded fixing a seven-day deadline for execution of condemned prisoners after issuance of black warrant, amid the delay in the hanging of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case.

Dummy execution of the four death row convicts was performed in the prison last week.

The officials recorded the weights of the convicts and then prepared the dummies accordingly with sacks filled with debris and stones, a senior jail official said.

The execution will take place in Jail No 3, the official said, adding that the Uttar Pradesh Prison authority has confirmed that Pawan Jallad from Meerut will be sent to hang the four convicts.

The Tihar authorities had written to the Uttar Pradesh prison officials, seeking the services of two hangmen from the state for the execution.

All the four convicts are likely to be hanged simultaneously.