UP: Amroha woman Shabnam will be first in India to face gallows; preparations at Mathura jail underway
UP: Amroha woman Shabnam will be first in India to face gallows; preparations at Mathura jail underway
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Lucknow: Shabnam will be the first woman convict in independent India to face the gallows. The Mathura jail administration has started preparations for hanging Shabnam, who had axed to death seven of her family members, with the aid of her lover Salim on April 14/15 night in 2008.

Both were awarded death sentences by the District and Sessions Court on July 14, 2010. Shabnam and Salim had challenged the lower court’s verdict in the Supreme Court but did not get any reprieve. Her death sentence was upheld by the apex court also.

Later, both had filed a mercy petition to the President but it was rejected too. After ten years of their death sentence, now all doors for review and mercy are shut on her and Salim. The Mathura Jail administration is just waiting for a fresh death warrant order to hang Shabnam and Salim to death. Shabnam is currently lodged in Bareilly jail while Salim is in Agra jail.

Shabnam will be the first woman convict to be hanged in independent India in Mathura jail, which is the only jail in the country having facilities for hanging of female prisoners. It was established by Britishers in 1870 with the provisions of a hanging house for women prisoners.

Mathura Jail authorities claimed that no woman priosner was ever hanged in their jail since Independence. Shabnam will be the first to be hanged in the jail after independence. A senior jail officer claimed that they have made all the arrangements for her hanging. “We have placed an order for the rope and are just waiting for a fresh death warrant to execute her by hanging,” he said.

The gruesome murders of seven members are still fresh in the minds of people in Amroha. On April 14/15, 2008 night, Shabnam along with her boyfriend Salim had axed to death her father Shaukat, mother Hashmi, brothers Anees and Rashid, sister Rabia and sister-in-law Anjum.

She did not spare even her nephew Arsh whom she strangled to death. Both committed these murders as family was against their love-affair. They were arrested by the Amroha Police on murder charges.

The trial went on in Amroha court for more than two and half years. The court held both of them guilty of murders of seven of her family and awarded the death sentence on July 15, 2010.

Meanwhile, Merut-based hangman Pawan Jallad is ready to execute the hanging of Shabnam and Salim in Mathura jail. Pawan had inspected Mathura Jail's woman hanging house about six months ago and found it in a dilapidated state. He had got the wooden hanging platform and lever repaired. Pawan claimed that he is ready for hanging and waiting for a call from Mathura Jail authorities.

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