Hanging of Nirbhaya’s killers to fall on this man, whose family for generations have been hangmen

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, Dec 10: The Nirbhaya case was one of the most gruesome crimes that India has ever witnessed. Now, as the authorities get ready to hang the killers, the hunt for a hangman has begun.

The last hanging that took place at the Tihar jail was that of Afzal Guru, who was convicted by the Supreme Court in the Parliament attack case.

Considering the sensitivity of the case and the convict, the hangman details were not revealed.

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However, at that time too the authorities at Tihar jail were looking for a hangman as the one attached to the jail had to be sent out of his job.

The last known official hangman at the Tihar jail was Mammu Jallad. For generations, Mammu and his family have been into the business of a hangman.

Mammu who had lost his job briefly after being arrested in a loan default case was however taken back. The Tihar jail authorities, however, got to know about him passing away when they preparing the gallows for Devendar Pal Singh Bhullar and Mahender Das.

Mammu Jallad who died on May 19, 2011, had expressed his desire to the Tihar authorities to hang both Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab. He had said that he wanted to send a strong message to the enemies of the country.

At the time of his death, he was the only hangman in the NCR area and probably the only one in the entire country.

A family of hangmen: Mammu Jallad's grandfather was Ram Rakh, who worked in the British era. He was the one who had put to gallows, Shaheed Bhagat Singh. This had become a great matter of shame to the family. Mammu had said that he felt ashamed of his grandfather but also had added that he would be privileged if he got to hang Afzal Guru and Kasab.

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Mammu's father Kallu had also been a hangman. Kallu was the one who hanged Indira Gandhi's assassins Kehar and Satwant Singh. Both Kallu and Mammu had also hanged Ranga and Billa, who were convicted for the murders of Sanjay and Geeta Chopra in 1981.

With none of the members left the job of hanging Nirbhaya's killers now falls on another family member, Pawan, who is Kallu's son. Pawan is the only certified hangman in Uttar Pradesh and is attached to the Meerut jail. He is paid a monthly salary of Rs 3,000 and says that he loves his job. He is yet to be informed officially, but the Tihar authorities would call on him as the black warrant has been issued and the decks cleared for the hanging.

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