Amid reports that Delhi’s Tihar jail, where the Nirbhaya convicts are lodged, do not have an executioner to carry out the death sentence, the hangman at the Meerut prison today indicated that he is ready to carry out the execution in the Tihar Jail of the four men convicted of raping and murdering Nirbhaya in 2012.

Pawan Jallad said his grandfather had carried out the hanging of the two men involved in the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

“I am ready to carry out the execution if asked by the jail administration,” news agency PTI quoted Jallad as saying (on phone, referring to the authorities at the Meerut jail).

Amid reports about preparations to hang the four men convicted of the rape and murder, the Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar confirmed that Delhi’s Tihar Jail has sent out a request for hangmen.

 “The Tihar Jail had asked Uttar Pradesh to provide two hangmen at short notice but since one of them in Lucknow is unwell, the other one in Meerut has been asked to remain prepared,” he said.

Jallad, who is about 55-year-old, however, said he is not aware of the identity of the convicts to be hanged but added that as the Nirbhaya case is in the news right now he might be required for those convicted in that.

Though he has not yet got any instructions from the Meerut jail administration, he said he is ready to go to Tihar Jail on 24 hours’ notice.

Pawan said his father and grandfather were also hangmen. “My grandfather Kallu Jallad and father Babbu Jallad had done this job. I personally helped my grandfather in five executions,” Pawan claimed.

On preparations before any execution, he said, “I have to check the strength of the rope and the platform needed for hanging besides attending to the lever used for it.” He added that the actual preparation is undertaken two to three hours before an execution early in the morning

Jallad said he feels no pressure as he will be executing those who had carried out the most heinous crimes.

Earlier, ADG (Prisons) Anand Kumar had said they received a request for two hangmen from the Tihar administration through fax on December 9. The UP Prisons Administration has two hangmen on its rolls, one in Lucknow and another in Meerut.

The four convicts in the Nirbhaya case — Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma — are on death row for two years.

 Nirbhaya case convicts have been sentenced to death right from the lower court to the Supreme Court, but till date, a court order has not been issued for the same.

Meanwhile, some other people too had offered to execute the hanging of Nirbhaya case convicts. Dalit activist Ravi Kumar belonging to Himachal Pradesh has written to President Ram Nath Kovind to appoint him as a temporary executioner in Tihar Jail to hang the convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case.

“Appoint me as executioner so that Nirbhaya case convicts can be hanged soon and her soul rests in peace,” Kumar, 40, a matriculate who sells vegetables in Sanjauli area, mentioned in a handwritten letter in Hindi.

A head constable in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district has also come forward to hang convicts who have been sentenced to death and are awaiting execution in Tihar jail.

Head constable Subash Srinivas offered to do the executioner’s job after learning that the Tihar prison did not have a hangman.

The execution of the Nirbhaya convicts could now happen any time as the Centre, Delhi government and the 2012 gangrape and murder victim’s parents have moved the President’s office seeking rejection of the mercy petition filed by one of the men, Vinay Sharma.

The 23-year-old woman was brutally gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012 in a moving bus which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail. Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petition in July 2018.

(With PTI inputs)