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The first woman convict in independent India to be hanged till death

Shabnam (38) from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh (India’s State) along with her accomplice Saleem was given capital punishment for brutally slaughtering 7 members of her own family in 2008.

Shabnam was from Bawankheri village which is 20 km away from Amroha in Moradabad division of Uttar Pradesh, India has a double MA degree in English and Geography worked as a school teacher in the village school and was very famous among her student. Shabnam fell in love with Saleem a daily wage earner and a class 5 dropout. Shabnam belongs to a Saifi Muslim and well-to-do landholder’s family. Shabnam’s family had about 30 bighas of land and her father was an Arts teacher in the local college. While Saleem was a Pathan. Shabnam’s family was against her relationship with Saleem because he came from a different socio-economic background and cast.

As Shabnam’s family was against their relationship so on the night between 14th and 15th April 2008 Shabnam drugged her family and after that  she and Saleem slaughtered the whole family using an axe, a 10 month old child was among the victim.

The victims were Shabnam,s mother, father, two brothers, sister-in-law, cousin and 10 month old nephew.

Shabnam’s uncle was not at home on that night and when he came back at about 2 am found the entire family brutally murdered.  Her Uncle was very happy about the verdict and also said he will not accept her body after she is hanged.

Both Shabnam and Saleem were arrested and sent to Moradabad jail. The trial started and took 13 years for the final verdict to be given and in the meantime, both were shifted to different jails.

Shabnam was 7 months pregnant with Saleem’s child when they committed this crime. She gave birth to Taj in Jail who is now 12 years old. As per the jail’s manual Taj’s custody was given to Usman Saifi in 2015 who was Shabnam’s fellow student in collage. Saifi accepted the custody of Taj after Jail Kalyan Samiti published notice for child’s adoption as he was 6 years old. Saifi wanted to keep the child away from jail’s environment and give him a better life.

Shabnam is now in Rampur jail where Taj visited her mother last time in January last year as per Saifi the child does not like visiting her.

Shabnam and Saleem both were awarded death penalty in 2010 by Amroha’s session court after that the sentence was upheld by High Court as well as Supreme Court .

Although as per legal experts she has not exhausted all her legal remedies, Mathura Jail started preparing for the execution and Pawan Jallad has been called and checking the gallows.

Mathura Jail is the only Jail in India where a woman convict could be hanged. The gallows in Mathura Jail were built 150 years ago have never been used post-independence.

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