Hoping against HOPE
India Legal|March 8, 2021
Hoping against HOPE The son of the death row convict has sought forgiveness from President Ram Nath Kovind in what seems to be a last-ditch effort to save her life. She had killed seven members of her family in 2008
A second mercy petition has been filed before President Ram Nath Kovind by the 12-year-old son of Shabnam, a death row convict, seeking to convert her capital punishment to life imprisonment. If the President rejects the mercy plea, Shabnam will be the first woman to be hanged for a crime after Independence at Mathura jail, the only one in India with the provision to hang a woman convict.

Shabnam, along with her lover Saleem, was convicted of killing seven members of her family including a 10month-old child in Amroha in western Uttar Pradesh on April 14-15, 2008. Both were arrested five days after they committed the crime.

Shabnam belongs to the Saifi Muslim community and lived in Amroha. A postgraduate in English and Geography, she worked as a shiksha mitra (government school teacher). Her family was opposed to her relationship with Saleem, a Class VI dropout, who worked at a wood sawing unit and belonged to the Pathan community.

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