Meet Pawan Kumar a 57-year-old hangman who will execute four men who raped and murdered a girl on a moving bus. He is a fourth-generation executioner who has said their (4 convicts) deaths will bring ‘a sigh of relief to me, her parents and the country’.
A request for a hangman
In mid-December last year, Tihar Jail forwarded a letter to DG Jail of Uttar Pradesh requesting for a hangman. The letter sent by Tihar did not specify who was and were to be hanged. The letter suggested that some prisoners have no legal support in their cases anymore to defend them and they need to be executed. Indeed, Uttar Pradesh has presently two hangmen. One of them is reportedly ill thus it opened the doors for Meerut jail hangman Pawan Kumar for the execution.
According to the court’s order: Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, Pawan Gupta, 25, Vinay Sharma, 26, and Mukesh Singh, 32, were convicted to hanging on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail. They were sentenced to death for raping and killing a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, on a Delhi bus in 2012, while she traveled home from a nightshift.
I kill people to clean the evil – Pawan Kumar
Pawan Kumar said he is expecting the order to come to Delhi in the coming days and is available to carry out their punishment. His motivation, he says that justice needs to be done and I am happy to be a part of this. “I kill people who have performed the most horrendous of crimes. I am cleaning the world of its sin. So, I respect my profession,” he said.
Speaking on the Nirbahya case accused he said that these kinds of people should be executed. “It will give a great sigh of happiness to me, to Nirbhaya’s parents and everyone else in the country when these convicts are hanged.
These kinds of people don’t deserve to live,’ he told “I don’t need much training. I will only have to inspect the noose and the hanging place once, see the measurement of the convicts and prepare myself for the execution.”
A chance to restore his family’s honor
The 57-year-old also believes that he will get a chance to restore his family’s honor. He said his father and grandfather both were hangman. Kumar’s grandfather Laxman Ram served the British Raj and hanged several freedom fighters which he (Kumar) did not like and did not want to discuss.
“My father Mammu Singh wanted to hang 26/11 attack convict Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convicts Afzal Guru to wash away the stain of freedom fighters’ blood on our family’s reputation,” Kumar said to TOI. He said that his father passed away in May 2011, a year before Kasab was sent to the nooses.
Kumar lives with his family in a one-bedroom house at Kanshi Ram Awas Yojna in Lohia Nagar and retails clothes from a trolley for living. He says his children are unlikely to take up his job. “My father Mammu was the state hangman for 47 years till he died on May 19, 2011, but the government has offered little in spite of the services provided by our family. We get a stipend but no government job and no security. This legacy will probably die with me,” he says.