New Delhi: The Tihar Jail in Delhi has asked Uttar Pradesh to provide two hangmen on short notice, amid reports that four men convicted in the Nirbhaya rape-and-murder case may be executed soon.
Uttar Pradesh's Additional Director General (Prisons) Anand Kumar told reporters on Thursday that the department is ready to provide the hangmen.
"There are no hangmen with the Tihar Jail administration for those who were awarded capital punishment and are not left with any constitutional and legal remedy," Kumar said.
"As they were aware that we have two hangmen in UP, they asked us to provide them whenever needed on short notice," the ADG (Prisons) added.
The prisons department had received a request in this regard from the Tihar administration through fax on December 9.
The letter, however, makes no mention of the convicts to be hanged but states there may be requirements.
The letter, according to sources, mentioned that some convicts in the jail were awarded capital punishment and their legal and constitutional remedies had been exhausted.
Six people were convicted for brutally raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus while she was on her way back home on December 16, 2012.
She died from her injuries but the brutal gang rape sparked a nationwide fury that led to a new legislation to deal with such heinous crimes.
Of the six people convicted in the case, one was a minor, who was sent to a rehabilitation centre, and another, Ram Singh, committed suicide in the Tihar Jail.
The remaining four convicts in the Nirbhaya case -- Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Vinay Sharma -- are on death row for two years.
The UP prison administration has two hangmen on its rolls, one in Lucknow and another in Meerut.
The four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case are also slated to appear before a Delhi court on Thursday through video conferencing due to security reasons and a threat to their lives.
The court is currently hearing a petition filed by the parents of the victim seeking the execution of all the convicts to be expedited.
On November 29, Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora had issued a production warrant to the convicts and asked them to appear before the court on December 13 i.e. tomorrow.
The court had also asked them to apprise it about the status related to their mercy, and curative petition. Advocate Seema Kushwaha, the counsel of Nitbhaya's parents, sought issuance of death warrant against them without any delay.
One of the convicts, Vinay, moved a mercy petition last month but has now sought to withdraw it.
Meanwhile, another convict, Akshay, moved the Supreme Court earlier this week seeking review of its verdict. The apex court had confirmed capital punishment for the four men in 2017.