With the secret shifting of Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, from Mandoli jail to Tihar jail, and heightened restrictions on the other three convicts, the execution of the death sentence awarded to the four dreaded criminals doesn't seem to be too far away.
Top placed sources from Tihar jail said, "As soon as Pawan Kumar Gupta reached Tihar from Mandoli jail, we banned communication between all the four convicts. Earlier, the three convicts in the case lodged in Tihar jail used to talk among themselves during the day time."
Though there have been no orders for the execution of the convicts, the Tihar jail administration busy with the preparations to hang them.
The sources said, "The cleaning of the execution chamber in Tihar jail can't be ignored. The gallows are also been repaired by the inmates of Tihar. The activities going on in the execution chamber and increased security of it signals that something is on the cards."
Only a couple of policemen were guarding the execution chamber after the hanging of terrorist Afzal Guru but now Tamil Nadu Special Police Force personnel have been deployed for its security. Apart from this, senior officials of the jail also take rounds to keep an eye on its security.
"Not only the security of the execution chamber has been increased but the rust on the lever has also been cleaned. The jail authorities have also checked whether the lever is working properly or not," a source told IANS on condition of anonymity.
"The lights of the chamber have also been repaired and it has been cleaned," sources said.
Apart from this, to carry out the hanging of the convicts the jail authorities will require a hangman.
Former legal advisor of Tihar jail, Sunil Gupta told IANS, "In 2013, during the execution of Afzal Guru it was not necessary that only a hangman will pull the lever. An experienced official pulled the lever and carried out the hanging but now as per the new Delhi jail manual of 2018 this can't be done. A trained hangman is required to carry out the hanging as per the new manual."
Since, it is a sensitive matter, all the Tihar jail administration officers are tight-lipped but sources said that the administration is trying to contact all the prisons across the country to know if they have an 'experienced' and 'trained' hangman.
(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)