Hangman needs cash for daughter's wedding

The horrendous Dec 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case will lead to free India seeing its first multiple execution with the four convicts due to be hanged in Jail No. 3 at New Delhi's Tihar Jail complex on Jan 22.

After a Delhi court issued death warrants for the four convicts on Tuesday, the Tihar jail administration started preparations for the hangings.

The jail's Director-General Sandeep Goyal told IANS on Tuesday that the Uttar Pradesh jail administration has agreed to provide a hangman.

"We contacted UP jail Director-General Anand Kumar and he said that he will arrange a hangman from Meerut jail," said Mr Goyal.

Hangman Pawan Jallad, who is expected to carry out the hangings, told IANS: "I have been told to be ready. As soon as I receive official information from Meerut jail, I will reach Tihar jail.

"I had said earlier that the hangings in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder should happen as early as possible. If the government had expedited the hangings, the Hyderabad case (where a young veterinary doctor was allegedly raped by four men late last year) might not have happened."

Mr Pawan said that he comes from a family of executioners and so doesn't need much practice to carry out the Tihar hangings.

"I will only have to inspect the noose and the execution place and see the measurement of the convicts and prepare myself for the execution," he said. "I am a fourth-generation hangman after my great grandfather (Lakshman Jallad), grandfather (Kalu Ram Jallad) and father Mammu Jallad.

"I learnt about hanging from them. It is not an easy job. It comes with a lot of responsibilities because one mistake from the hangman can put the convict in more pain."

Mr Pawan carried out his first hanging at Patiala Central Jail along with his grandfather when was 22 years old. He is now 58.

He has done five other hangings since.

The last hanging he did was of a convict in the Bulandshahar gang rape and murder case in 1988.

Pawan, who has been a hangman all his life, is happy that he will get the chance to hang all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case.

"I will get around Rs1 lakh (about $1,900) for the hangings," he said. "That will improve my financial situation for a few days at least.

"I need this money for my daughter's marriage. For months I have been waiting for this opportunity... God finally heard my prayers."

In a one-room house allotted to him by the Meerut administration, the hangman revealed that UP jail officials have alerted him not to move out of the district.

"The UP jail administration pays me only Rs 5,000 (a month). I have no other source of earning," said Mr Pawan. "Only by executing the death penalty can I earn my living."

"My daughter is grown up. But I have no money to marry her off. My ancestral house is in dilapidated condition but I have no funds for repairs. I am already in debt and hounded by money lenders. Believe me, this money (Rs1 lakh) gives me a new lease of life.

"It's a big reward. My grandfather used to be paid only Rs200 per hanging."

He clarified that the common perception about hangmen being alcoholics is wrong.

"Believe me, I have never taken alcohol. I do not drink though people say that before executing any hanging we first get drunk. It's a lie. We are sober and restrained when we pull the ropes. It's our job," he said.

Indo-Asian News Service

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