Pawan has not been officially informed but he is preparing to go to Delhi later this month as soon as the “black warrant” is issued and decks are cleared for the hanging of the four Nirbhaya convicts.
Pawan is the only “certified” hangman in Uttar Pradesh, attached to the Meerut jail and gets a monthly salary of Rs 3,000. Despite the grisly task assigned to him as an executioner, Pawan loves his job.
He has never imagined being anything else and has wanted to be a hangman since he was a child. Pawan Jallad’s father was a hangman and so was his grandfather.
Now 56, Pawan has witnessed hanging since he was an adolescent. His grandfather Laxman and father Kallu were assigned the job of executing Indira Gandhi’s assassins in 1989 and he took over after their passing away. His father Kallu hanged dreaded criminals Ranga and Billa too.
The Tihar Jail, where the Nirbhaya convicts are lodged, does not have a hangman of its own.
According to sources, the concerned authorities have been informally told that Pawan may be needed for the hanging of the Nirbhaya convicts and Pawan has also been informed of the same.
“We have been in this business for four generations and for us, it is just a job. We do not get emotional about this. If a person is to be hanged, he must have something very wrong,” Pawan said.
He said that he had learnt the technique of hanging from his grandfather and father.
“My concern is that death for the convict should be as painless as possible because he is already facing the fear of death,” he explained.
About three years ago, he was assigned the task of hanging the Nithari killing accused Surendra Koli but the hanging was put off at the last moment.
Pawan lives on the outskirts of Meerut and does not socialize much.
People living in the area, do not know that he is a hangman — they know him as a small time cloth merchant who sells clothes on his bicycle for a living.
His family comprises seven members and Pawan said that his son does not wish to follow in his footsteps. He is preparing for a government job and does not want to work at the gallows.
India is one of the few countries where the death penalty still exists.
In India, it is estimated that since 2001, over 270 people have been sentenced to death, but not executed.