File photo of four convicted in Nirbhaya rape and murder case.
New Delhi: As the day of their execution nears, the Tihar jail authorities are keeping a close watch on the four Nirbhaya gang rape and murder convicts.
One of convicts, who are scheduled to be hanged on January 22, moved the Delhi High Court on Tuesday for setting aside the death warrant issued by a trial court.
The four men, Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25), are to be hanged on January 22 at 7am in Tihar jail as a Delhi court issued their death warrants on January 7.
The plea of Mukesh is listed for hearing on Wednesday before a bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed the curative pleas of Mukesh and Vinay. Mukesh also filed a mercy plea before the President later in the day.
Having exhausted almost all options of escaping the noose, Vinay seems to have become very anxious. Sources said Tihar officials have spotted him pacing inside his cell. All the four convicts are being watched for suicidal traits.
Vinay is also one to have received the maximum number of punishments in the jail for not following rules or disobeying the warden’s orders. Sources said Akshay was penalised once inside the jail, Mukesh thrice, Pawan eight times and Vinay 11 times.
Akshay has also earned the highest amount as wage inside the jail — Rs 69,000 as wage. Vinay has earned Rs 39,000 for his labour and Pawan Rs29,000. However, Mukesh chose not to do any work, said Tihar sources.
The convicts are yet to decide on the beneficiary of their daily wages earned during the seven-year stay inside Tihar. Sources said the money would be handed over to their family members if they don’t take a call on the matter in the next few days.
The family of all the four convicts are allowed to meet them twice a week. On Tuesday, Vinay’s father came to meet him. Mukesh’s mother keeps visiting him frequently. Pawan’s family members too come sometimes.
Akshay’s wife came to meet him last in November, said sources, adding nobody has met him after the day of execution was announced. However, he regularly talks to his wife over the phone, said the sources.
Tihar officials would inform the convicts about the one last meeting that they can have with their family members once before the execution.
While in jail, Mukesh, Pawan and Akshay took admission in Class X in 2016, and appeared for the board examinations a year later, but couldn’t clear the same. In 2015, Vinay had started a one-year bachelor’s degree program, but couldn’t complete it. Vinay had also taken to painting inside the jail.
Sources said hangman Pawan will get Rs 15,000 each for the executions. He will reach the national capital on January 20 and stay in Tihar. A final dummy execution will be conducted on January 21 evening.
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