A week before the execution of the four death row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape-murder case, jail officials said preparations are underway and the men have also been asked to decide when to have a “last meeting” with their families.
The four — Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — are scheduled to be hanged on February 1.
Officials said they have been keeping a close eye on the four, especially since Vinay and Pawan had skipped meals over the last three days. “Our doctors counselled the two and they resumed their prescribed diet. Still, they sometimes refuse or leave the food. We are trying our best to keep them mentally fit.”
In keeping with norms, authorities have reduced TV and newspaper access to the men — to reduce the “mental stress” they face. Two in-house doctors give them regular counselling and conduct weekly medical tests to keep a record of their health.
Sandeep Goel, DG, Tihar Jail, said, “As of now, none of them has told us when they want to meet their families for the last time. We are following the norms. For now, families of the convicts come and meet them twice a week. Although only two-three family members per prisoner are allowed, we are allowing more for them.” He said the convicts can pick any date till January 30 for the last meeting.
Goel said after the hanging, the bodies of the four men will be handed over to their families. The authorities will first take the bodies for a post-mortem and then for cremation outside Tihar Jail. The family will be allowed to perform last rites. When Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013, his body was cremated by officials inside Tihar Jail number 4.
The execution will take place inside jail number 3 and the hangman, Pawan Jallad, will come to Delhi on January 30. Equipment for the hanging, like ropes and the stand, has been procured and tested.