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Explained: Who is Shabnam, the first woman who may be hanged since 1947?

On February 18, Shabnam’s 12-year-old son, who was sentenced to death in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha, urged President Ram Nath Kovind to “forgive” his mother. On the same day, Shabman applied for a second pardon of the Governor of Uttar Pradesh and the President of India, both of whom had earlier rejected his application.

If killed, Shabnam will be the first independent Indian woman to be hanged.

There is only one prison in India – Matra – that has facilities for the execution of a convicted woman. Pawan Kumar, who was hanged in a New Delhi attack in December 2012, was recently quoted as saying that the media had gone to the Matra jail to check if the execution room was working.

What Shabnam was convicted of

Shabnam and his girlfriend Saleem were convicted of killing seven members of his family in 2008 – father Shaukat Ali (55), mother Hashmi (50), older brother Anees (35), Anees’ wife Anjum (25), brother younger Rashid (22), cousin Rabia (14), and Arsh, Anees’ 10-month-old son.

Shabnam who is a member of the Saifi Muslim community, she used to live in Bawankhedi, a village in the Hasanpur tehsil village of Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh. He completed two subjects, English and Geography, and worked as a shiksha mitra (public school teacher). His family was opposed to his relationship with Saleem, a former Class VI school leaver, who worked in a sawmill outside the house and belonged to the Pathan community.

According to the prosecution, on the night of the  14th and 15th April, Shabnam had put six members of his family to bed – everyone except Arsh. Saleem then chopped off their heads with an ax, and Shabnam held them by their hair. She pinched her ten-month-old niece. With the death of his entire family, Shabnam would become the sole heir of their home and other property.

Explained: Who is Shabnam, the first woman who may be hanged since 1947?
Explained: Who is Shabnam, the first woman who may be hanged since 1947?

When Shabnam and Saleem were arrested five days after the incident, they were both 20 years old, and Shabnam was seven weeks pregnant

In September 2015, then-governor of Uttar Pradesh Ram Naik rejected Shabnam’s plea for mercy, which he had been seeking because of his obligations towards his son, Mohammad Taj. In August 2016, then President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his request for a favor.

In January 2020, a bench in the Supreme Court headed by CJI SA Bobde upheld the death penalty.

What Shabnam said

Shabnam was the one who had warned of the murder of his family. He initially said that unknown assailants had entered his house and killed everyone.

During the trial, however, the couple turned against each other. The Supreme Court decision states that in his Section 313 statement, Shabnam said Saleem entered the house with a knife on the roof and killed all members of his family asleep. Saleem, on the other hand, said he arrived at the house “only at the request of Shabnam” and that when he arrived, he confessed to killing others.

Seven years after the incident, when her son was sent to a crèche, Shabnam said he feared for his life, because “people who kill his family because of a property dispute can hurt him too”.

Legal options are still available through Shabnam

Prior to the hanging, Shabnam still has some legal remedies left with him. On February 19, the day after a new appeal to the Governor and President, Shabnam’s lawyer, Shreya Rastogi, stated in a statement, “Shabnam has some very important constitutional amendments that need to be implemented. and the Supreme Court for various reasons and the right to apply for medical treatment to the Supreme Court against a decision on an appeal. ”

An application for medical treatment may contest the January 2020 Supreme Court decision, which upheld his death sentence.

And, under the law, if many people were sentenced to death in the same case, they should be put to death together. Therefore, Shabnam and Saleem can only be hanged after they have both completed their legal proceedings.

Some women sentenced to death in India

According to a 2016 report on the death penalty in India by the National Law University, New Delhi, 12 women are on death row in the country, all of whom are “past and present”.

Another case in which the directors’ appeals were rejected by the President was that of Renuka Shinde and Seema Mohan Gavit, whose sisters were convicted of kidnapping and killing several children in the Maharashtra cities between 1990 and 1996.

Charged with their mother Anjana for the abduction of 13 children and the murder of 10, they were found guilty by the High Court in 2006 of five counts of murder, other than kidnapping. According to her sisters’ defense lawyer, the murder was committed by her mother – who died two years after their 1996 arrest – and the sisters were designed by Kiran Shinde, Renuka’s husband, who confessed.

Women would kidnap children to use as resources or distractions during the massacre and petty theft. Later, they killed them.

The sisters were convicted by the Kolhapur Magistrate’s Court in June 2001. The Bombay High Court upheld the death sentence handed down to them in 2004 and the 2006 Supreme Court. In 2014, then-President Pranab Mukherjee rejected their request for a favor.

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