India may witness hanging of first woman since Independence

Shabnam, one of the two convicts in the Uttar Amroha murder case, is the first Indian woman who is set for gallows. Preparations have commenced to hang Uttar Pradesh resident Shabnam who was found guilty of murdering seven of her family members. Shabnam’s mercy petition has already been rejected by the Governor and President and is likely to be hanged soon after a death warrant is issued.

The incident dates back to 2018, when Shabnam along with her lover Saleem, killed the former’s entire family in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha district. The duo was having an affair and wanted to get married. However, the woman’s family was opposed to their marriage. During the investigation it was found that Shabnam 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. Salim, a Class VI dropout, worked at a wood sawing unit outside Shabnam’s home. The case was heard in Amroha court for over two years. In 2015, the Supreme Court had upheld the Allahabad High Court judgment that had awarded death penalty to them.

India’s only female execution room was built in Mathura jail during British rule in 1870, but no convict has been hanged there since Independence. 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.