Delhi’s Tihar jail has gone into lockdown mode ahead of the execution of the death sentences of four men convicted for the brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in 2012. At present, paramilitary has been deployed outside the Tihar jail complex in order to subdue any untoward incident.
Here are how the final moments of Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, and Pawan Gupta played out, more than seven years after their crime led to judicial reforms in India’s rape laws.
4:00 am -> The four convicts are woken up from their sleep and asked to take a bath.
4:15 am -> They were granted time to ready any religious scripture they wanted to but refused; the four were then served the last breakfast.
4:30 am -> A little before they were marched to the gallows, the four convicts on death row underwent a medical checkup which established that they were fit to bear the punishment handed out to them. The jail superintendent also checked for any letter or notice which could halt the execution and no such document was received.
5:20 am -> With a cotton cloth on their faces and their hands tied behind their backs, the four men were marched to the area in the Tihar prison complex known as ‘Phansi Kothi’ or execution chamber. During this time, none of the other prisoners are allowed to leave their respective cells.
5:25 am -> Once they were marched to the ‘phansi kothi’, a district magistrate present at the spot asked each of them for their final wish. This magistrate countersigned the death ‘black’ warrant and was present during the execution of the sentence along with the jail superintendent, deputy superintendent, a medical officer. The convicts were also offered a request to have a religious leader of their choice present for the execution but all four declined.
5:40 am -> Death sentences of all four convicts carried out.
5:40 am -> Tihar Director-General Sandeep Goel confirms that all four convicts were hanged.
6:00 am -> Medical examiner declares that life is extinct which means all the four convicts are dead now. The bodies were then lowered.
7:00 am -> The bodies of the four men will be taken to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital for an autopsy
8:00 am -> Autopsy begins. Once it is complete, the families of the four men will be asked whether they wish to claim the bodies for the last rites as per the Delhi jail manual.