Two Indian sisters convicted for kidnapping, murder of 9 children, may become first women to be hanged in the country

Published: August 15, 2014
capital punishment India

Two sisters may become the first Indian women to be sent to the gallows for kidnapping 13 children and killing 9 of them. EPA/ALI

VANCOUVER DESI

Two sisters from western India, convicted and sentenced to death for kidnapping 13 children and murdering nine of them, may become the first women to be hanged in the country, the Times of India reported.

Sisters Renuka Kiran Shinde and Seema Mohan Gavit’s mercy petitions against death penalty were rejected by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee last month. According to TOI, the buffer period (taken by the authorities to inform all concerned departments, the convicts and their relatives after receiving confirmation from the president) ends Saturday.

According to Indian government statistics, 52 people have been sent to the gallows since Independence. But human rights group People’s Union for Civil Liberties claims there are records of 1,422 executions in the decade from 1953 to 1963 alone. However, there is no record of any woman’s execution, TOI reported.

In this case, Renuka and Seema’s parents Anjanabai Gavit and Kiran Shinde were also involved in the kidnapping of children, pushing them into begging and killing some of them, TOI reported. But Anjanabai died during the trial and Kiran became an approver in the case and was acquitted by the court.

Home department officer Deepak Jadiye told TOI they had not received any objections on the sisters’ hanging yet. “We have informed the two convicts, their relatives, the legal remedial cells of the Supreme Court and also the district court about the rejection (of their mercy plea),” he said.

The trial court, which awarded the death penalty to the two sisters in 2001, had described the nine kids’ murders as ‘the most heinous’ crime, and observed that the two sisters seemed to have enjoyed killing the children.

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