Shabnam Ali First Woman Set To Be Hanged In Independent India

Shabnam Ali First Woman Set To Be Hanged In Independent India

Shabnam Ali was 25-year-old at the time she killed seven members of her family. She wished to marry Saleem but he belonged to different “Biradari” or caste.

Shabnam was a Saifi Muslim while the boy was a Pathan. Her family was opposed to the relationship, and in response, on 14 April 2008, Shabnam brutally murdered seven of her family members including her father, mother, and even a 10-month old nephew.

She gave milk filled with sedatives to her father, mother, two brothers, sister-in-law, cousin and her 10-month old nephew, and when everyone fell unconscious, she axed them to death.

In 2010, Shabnam and Saleem were sentenced to death by a sessions court in Amroha for the crime.

Since then, Shabnam has approached the Allahabad High Court, the Supreme Court, the President and the apex court in order to overturn the death penalty.

In January 2020, her review petition was dismissed by the SC. However, Shabnam is still left with some judicial remedies which she can avail.

Other than Shabnam, Renuka Shinde, Seema Gavit and Ramshri have been previously sentenced to death in India. Shinde and Gavit are step-sisters who are on a death row for kidnapping 13 children and killing at least five of them. Ramshri is from Lucknow who was sentenced to death in 1998 but she gave birth to a child in prison and hence she was commuted to life imprisonment.

If Shabnam’s death sentence doesn’t get commuted or reversed she is likely to be hanged at Mathura jail, the first female hanging house which was built almost 150 years ago. Even though, no woman has been executed there since Independence.

Regarding Shabnam’s case, Mathura senior jail superintendent Shailendra Maitrey told TOI, “We have not received any death warrant but have started preparing … Last year in February, the executioner, Pawan Jallad, had inspected the hanging house. He said that there was a problem with the structure of the gallows. We are fixing that now. We have also just ordered two hanging ropes from Bihar’s Buxar central jail.”


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