With not much time left for Amroha resident Shabnam’s death sentence, her family members say they are waiting for the final moment.
Shabnam was convicted along with her lover Salim of axing seven of her family members to death in 2008. The Amroha District Court had sentenced them both to death. The convicts appealed their sentence first at the Allahabad High Court and then took their plea to the Supreme Court, but both courts refused to reduce their sentence. They then sent a mercy petition to President but it too was rejected.
Now, Shabnam and Salim’s death warrants are expected to come anytime soon. Shabnam, who is locked in Rampur jail, will be hanged in the Mathura jail built some 150 years ago. With this, she will be the first female prisoner to be hanged in independent India.
It has been nearly 13 years since the Bawankhedi massacre of Amroha. Shabnam’s uncle Sattar Ali and aunt Fatima, are desperately waiting for the day Shabnam and Salim will be hanged. They have no sympathy for their niece.
According to them, only the hanging will get justice for their slain kin.
Sattar has been living in the house of brother Shaukat Ali since the massacre. Every year they clean the seven graves built on one side of the house and remember their family.
Shabnam’s aunt Fatima said that the Shabnam and Salim deserve to be hanged for the brutal acts which they have committed. “They both deserve to be punished the way such crime is treated in Saudi Arabia,” she told India Today.
In fact, such were the scars left by Shabnam’s deeds, that no family in Bawankhedi has named their daughter Shabnam since then.
Meanwhile, Salim’s mother Chaman Jahan says that she prays to Allah day and night. “Whatever the Allah will do now, we will accept,” she said. His father is a poor snack seller and refuses to comment on his son.
What is the Amroha murder case?
Shabnam and Salim were found guilty of killing her parents, two brothers and their wives and her 10-month-old nephew in Bawankhedi village of Amroha district on April 14, 2008, since her family was opposed to their relationship.
Shabnam, a double MA (in English and Geography) who taught at the village primary school, initially pretended that her house was attacked by unidentified assailants. However, Shabnam later confessed that she had abetted Salim in the crime and made her family members drink milk laced with sedatives and thereafter throttled her little nephew.
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.
Read | Shabnam, who axed kin to death for lover, likely to be first woman hanged in independent India