New Delhi:The four men sentenced to hang for the rape and murder of a paramedical student on 16 December 2012 have been “crying bitterly” inside their prison cells since Thursday evening, ThePrint has learnt.
The four men — Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma — had a breakdown after they were told that their applications had been rejected by the courts and they should be “mentally prepared” to be hanged at 5:30 am Friday, a source inside Tihar said.
What got the convicts scared was the visit by an official to ask them if they wanted to place anything in their family’s name.
“As per procedure, an official notes down if the convicts, who are to be hanged, wishes to name a property or anything in anyone’s name,” the source said.
“The men, however, told the official that they were poor and had nothing. This is what got to them and they realised that they will now be certainly hanged.”
The source said the men were hopeful that their counsel A.P. Singh will get the hanging either deferred or will manage to get a stay.
The Patiala House Courts Thursday rejected the plea seeking a stay on the hanging.
The Supreme Court, too, rejected the plea by Akshay Kumar Singh, who had challenged the dismissal of his mercy petition by the President of India and the plea by Mukesh Singh, claiming that he was not present in Delhi on the day of the crime.
“After all their applications were rejected by the lower and the Supreme Court, the men started to cry. They have not eaten since and have been crying bitterly. They have been asked to be mentally prepared for the hanging,” the source said.
“Since the hanging was deferred so many times and was delayed, the men were under the impression that they will manage to defer it this time as well. They are yet to come to terms with the fact that they will be hanged.”
In order to calm the convicts down, counsellors were called in and chapters from the Gita were narrated to them, a second source said.
“They were narrated chapters from the Gita on how the soul never dies. Attempts were made to calm them down. They have been extremely anxious, but that is only natural,” the source said.
While families of the three convicts came for the akhri mulaqat (last meeting) before they are hanged, Akshay’s family did not seek time.
“Akshay’s family met him one month ago and did not even come for the last meeting. This is what made him more anxious,” the same source said.
The source added that a doctor on call has been checking their vitals constantly and a final check-up will also be conducted before they are taken for hanging at 5:30 am Friday.
The execution will take place in the phansi kotha inside jail number 3, where they are currently lodged in separate cells. All the other inmates will be locked inside their cells until the execution is done and the bodies are sent for post-mortem examination.
The phansi kotha is also the place where the bodies of Afzal Guru and Kashmir separatist leader Maqbool Bhat are buried.
Although the hanging is expected at 5.30 am Friday, there is still a possibility that it could be deferred.
A.P. Singh, the counsel of the convicts has now moved the Delhi High Court to challenge the lower court’s order rejecting the stay on the hanging. The court is to hear arguments on the same at 9 pm.
“We have filed the petition, which will be heard by the high court. We will try our level best to defer this hanging. Let us not jump to conclusions that the hanging will happen tomorrow,” Singh told ThePrint.
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