New Delhi: Mukesh Singh, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, filed a mercy plea before the President on Tuesday, prison officials said, shortly after the Supreme Court refused to stay his scheduled execution.
The mercy plea was filed by 32-year-old Mukesh Singh, who will be hanged at 7 am on January 22 in Tihar jail along with Vinay Sharma (26), Akshay Kumar Singh (31) and Pawan Gupta (25), as ordered by a Delhi court that had issued their death warrants on January 7.
Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel said Mukesh moved the mercy plea in the evening after his curative petition – and that of Vinay – was dismissed by the apex court.
According to jail sources, Pawan Jallad from Meerut, who will carry out the hanging, will reach Tihar jail here on January 20 and will reside inside the premises. He will be given Rs 15,000 per execution, they said.
A dummy execution will be carried on January 21 evening as well.
On January 13, a team of prison officials performed dummy execution of the four convicts. The dummies were created using sacks filled with debris and stones as per the weight of the convicts, a senior jail official said.
The family of all the four convicts are allowed to meet them twice a week. On Tuesday, Vinay Sharma’s father came to meet him. While Mukesh’s mother keeps visiting him. His mother last met him two days ago, the jail official said.
Pawan Gupta’s family members too visit him. They last saw him on January 7, he said.
But Akshay’s wife last came to meet him in November and since the pronouncement of the execution date, no one from his family has come to meet him yet. However, he regularly speaks to his wife on phone, the jail official added.
An official said they have asked the four convicts when they would want to meet their families one last time before the execution date but none of them has responded yet.
In case, they do not respond, the jail authorities will decide on the last date for meeting which could be January 20, two days ahead of their hanging.
Jail authorities have been holding conversations with the convicts on a daily basis to ensure that they are in a good mental state.
However, according to jail sources, among the four convicts, Vinay has been showing anxiety more than others and can be often seen pacing inside the cell.
On the conduct of convicts, sources said, Vinay has received maximum punishment. He got eleven punishments in Tihar while Akshay received one, Mukesh three and Pawan eight.
Such punishments are given when the inmates don’t follow the rules of the prison.
While Vinay used to actively get involved in painting classes and has earned Rs 39,000 in wages, Akshay has earned Rs 69,000, Pawan Rs 29,000 and Mukesh did not involve himself in any work.
The jail sources said, Mukesh, Pawan and Akshay took admission for class 10th in 2016 and appeared in exam but they could not pass.
In 2015, Vinay took admission in one-year-bachelor’s degree program but he couldn’t complete.
The convicts have so far not decided on the beneficiary of their daily wages that they have earned in their seven years of jail tenure and the amount will be handed over to their family in case they don’t decide, jail sources added.