Published: 18th February 2021
What the FAQ: Will UP's Shabnam be the first woman to be hanged in India since Independence?
Uttar Pradesh's Shabnam was convicted along with her lover Salim of murdering seven of her family members in 2008. Here we try to explain the case and its outcome
Shabnam Ali's death warrant is awaited. Once issued, she will become the first woman to be hanged in independent India. She was found guilty of murdering seven members of her family in Uttar Pradesh. Here, we try to answer some of the most important questions related to her case, who she is and more.
Who is Shabnam?
Ans: Shabnam Ali, who hails from Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, was having an affair with Salim but her family had been against their relationship. On April 15, 2008, Shabnam's entire family was wiped out, and Shabnam had initially explained that her house in Amroha district of UP was attacked by unidentified assailants. However, several investigations later it was found that Shabnam killed her family of seven including her young nephew. Shabnam is now set to become the first woman in the country to be hanged in independent India. But the execution date has not been finalised yet. Shabnam has a double MA in English and Geography and was a teacher at the village primary school. However, she later confessed that she made her family members drink milk laced with sedatives and thereafter strangled her little nephew to death.
What is the Amroha case and what did Shabnam do?
Ans: According to several reports, it came to light during the investigation that she had abetted her lover Salim in the crime as she planned to kill her entire family. A sessions court had sentenced both Salim and Shabnam to death. In 2010, they had challenged the sessions court's verdict in the Allahabad High Court. The High Court upheld the death sentence. Shabnam and Salim then approached the Supreme Court but the top court in 2015 upheld the death sentence. Shabnam's mercy petition has already been rejected by the Governor and the President. She is likely to be hanged soon after a death warrant is issued. Shabnam is presently lodged in Rampur district jail while Salim is at Agra prison.
Where will Shabnam be hanged to death?
Ans: Shabnam will be hanged in the female hanging house of Mathura Jail, which was built 150 years ago — but no woman has been hanged here since Independence. The Senior Jail Superintendent, however, told several media organisations that jail administration has started the preparation for the hanging and order for rope has been placed. The only mention of this hanging room in India can be found in the UP Jail Manual, 1956, which also lays out rules for the execution of women convicts on death row. The jail is situated near Jawahar Bagh in Mathura. It was established in 1870. Along with the jail, a women's execution room was also built inside the prison walls.
Are there other women who have been hanged in independent India or before?
Ans: The answer is no. However, Renuka Shinde and Seema Mohan Gavit, half-sisters convicted of killing five children and the kidnapping 13 others between 1990 and 1996, are still on death row for their crime. The kidnapped children have never been found. A sessions court found them guilty of kidnapping and murdering six children. The apex court had rejected their appeal and sentenced them to death. Their mercy plea to the former President of India Pranab Mukherjee was also rejected. These women are on death row until today.