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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 29 February 2020 12.47 PM IST

"They are like beasts, not humans": Hangman on Nirbhaya case convicts

nirbhaya-hangman

MEERUT: Pawan Kumar feels zero sympathy for the four men he is due to hang next month for the 2012 gang-rape and murder that appalled India.

"The people who are going to die are like beasts, not humans," the third-generation hangman and father-of-seven told AFP in his tiny flat in Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh.
"They are cruel people and that's why they are going to lose their lives," the 54-year-old said.

The group set to be executed at 6 am on February 1 were convicted for the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student. They took turns to sexually assault her and brutalised her with an iron rod on a bus as it meandered through the streets of Delhi at night. They then dumped her on a road.

She died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital from extensive internal injuries.

Angry demonstrations by tens of thousands of people broke out across India, sparking soul-searching about the security of women and leading to heavier sentences for sex crimes.

Four people were convicted. One, a minor, spent three years in a juvenile detention centre. A sixth committed suicide in jail before the case concluded.

Pawan Kumar has been in high demand for media interviews, and AFP's allotted 20 minutes ended abruptly when an alarm on his mobile phone signalled time was up.

"I have people from India and abroad who want to talk to me. You're not the only ones," he said as his armed bodyguard looked on.

Kumar comes from generations of hangmen but this will be his first execution.

His grandfather, who he fondly describes as his "guru", hanged former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassins and two men over a notorious 1982 kidnap and murder.

Kumar complains that his stipend of 5,000 rupees (US$70) a month is hardly enough to support his family, forcing him to look to others, including the media, for "help".

"People around me, including my family, have always treated me well, but after this execution, I'm certain respect for me will increase," he said.

And he has no qualms about the job he does, which he expects his sons to continue, nor about the effectiveness of capital punishment.

"Crimes will decrease only when there are executions. You give them life imprisonment, they appeal and they come out only to commit more crimes," he said.

"People like them should be executed so others can learn a lesson that doing such things will give them an end like this."

"Crimes will decrease only when there are executions. You give them life imprisonment, they appeal and they come out only to commit more crimes," he said.

"People like them should be executed so others can learn a lesson that doing such things will give them an end like this."

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