For the first time in the history of India’s Independence, a woman on death row will be executed at the country’s lone female execution room in Mathura. According to multiple media reports, Shabnam, one of the two convicts in the sensational Amroha murder case, will be executed here. She is the first woman in the country who is set for gallows after in independent India. But the execution date is not finalised yet.
Saleem and Shabnam were having an affair and wanted to get married but their relationship met with stiff opposition from the woman’s family. On April 15, 2008, Shabnam’s entire family was wiped out and the woman initially pretended that her house in Amroha district of UP was attacked by unidentified assailants.
It came to light during the investigation that she had abetted Saleem in the crime as she made her family members drink milk laced with sedatives before hacking them to death. She didn’t even spare her little nephew killed who was strangulated to death.
A Sessions court had sentenced the duo to death. In 2010, they challenged the Sessions court’s verdict in the Allahabad High Court. The HC upheld the death sentenced. Shabnam and Saleem then approached the Supreme Court but the top court in 2015 upheld the death sentence.
India’s only female execution room is hardly known to anyone because no one has been hanged till date here. It was built during British rule in 1870 inside the Mathura Jail. The only mention of this hanging room in India can be found in the UP Jail Manual, 1956, which lays out elaborate rules for the execution of women convicts on death row.
The jail is situated near Jawahar Bagh which witnessed a bloody struggle in 2016 between the police and members of the little-known armed sect led by Ramvriksh Yadav who called themselves followers of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and campaigned for a bizarre set of demands.
The Mathura Jail was established in 1870, about 150 years ago. Along with the jail, a women’s execution room was also built inside the prison walls.