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    Tihar jail prepares to hang December 16 convicts, all the four convicts to be hanged simultaneously for the first time in history

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    The phansi kotha (hanging courtyard) inside Delhi’s Tihar jail, which had a provision to hang only two persons at a time, has now been redone to accommodate four hangings simultaneously, a prison officer said.

    Prison officers made the changes a few days ago as part of the preparations for the hanging of the four convicts of the December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder case, who are set to be executed on January 22 following a city court’s order.

    This will be the first time in the jail’s history when four death row convicts will be hanged at the same time. On Sunday, officials also held mock hanging sessions using sandbags with new ropes that they had bought last month.

    Before this, the prison administration noted the weights of the four convicts and prepared the sandbags based on their weight.

    A city court had issued a death warrant for the execution of the four convicts – Mukesh Singh, Pawan Kumar Gupta, Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma, to be held on January 22. The execution will take place inside jail number 3, where the prison’s hanging courtyard is located.

    The four men lodged in two different jails inside Tihar are likely to be shifted to jail number 3 where they will be hanged on January 22, senior prison officers said.

    As of now, the four men are lodged alone but separately in high-risk cells. Each of them is virtually monitored by two CCTV cameras. In addition two to three jail guards watch over them round-the-clock.

    A third officer, said that the Uttar Pradesh prison’s department has confirmed that they can send the Meerut hangman, Pawan Kumar, for the execution. A few days before the hanging, Kumar will visit Tihar jail and inspect the preparations.

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