Nirbhaya rape case convicts under depression, police keep a close watch: Tihar jail sources

New Delhi: The four convicts facing death in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case are under depression and Tihar Jail officials are keeping a close watch to ensure they do not harm themselves, prison sources said on Friday.

Four-five security personnel have been assigned to each of the four convicts, the sources said. The four - Akshay, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma - have also reduced their food intake, they added. On Friday, senior officials, including Tihar Director General Sandeep Goel, visited Jail No 3, where the hanging will take place, to inspect the preparation and were satisfied with it.

The four convicts have been on a suicide watch since Ram Singh, one of the convicts, allegedly killed himself in 2013 but there is an increased monitoring now, the sources said. A juvenile, who was among the six accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. To ensure that any information is not leaked out in the high-profile case, Tihar jail officials phones have been put on surveillance.

Also Read: Nirbhaya’s mother demands hanging of all accused ‘ASAP’

On Friday, all four were produced before a court via a video link in an in-chamber proceeding and the judge verified their identity. Meanwhile, Tihar jail authorities said they have been receiving requests from several people who are ready to volunteer as hangman. S Subash Srinivasan, a head constable in the in-service training centre in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, this week wrote to Director-General of the Tihar Jail, stating his willingness to serve as an executioner.

The hangman at the Meerut prison has also indicated that he is ready to carry out the execution of the men convicted of raping and murdering Nirbhaya in 2012. Pawan Jallad, a third-generation hangman, said his grandfather had carried out the hanging of the two men involved in the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi besides notorious criminals Ranga and Billa.

A 23-year-old paramedic student, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gang-raped on the intervening night of Dec 16-17, 2012, inside a running bus in south Delhi by six people and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on Dec 29 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Her mother on Friday said she wants the convicts to be hanged before Dec 16. "I will keep fighting for justice for my daughter and for the death penalty of those who snatched her from me. I want them to be hanged before December 16," she told reporters.