Two sisters from Kolhapur, who were sentenced to death in 2001 for kidnapping 13 children and killing nine of them, may become the first women ever to be hanged in India, after President Pranab Mukherjee late last month rejected their mercy petitions.
Renuka Kiran Shinde and her sister Seema Mohan Gavit, united with their mother Anjanabai Gavit kidnapped the kids and pushed them into begging. They then killed some of them after they stopped being productive. They are currently lodged in the Yerwada jail in Pune.
Most described their “ordinariness” as the most horrifying trait. On August 31, 2006, the Supreme Court confirmed the death sentence. Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor, who sought death penalty for them, recalls a chilling fact. “We limited the period of killing to six years. However, this had been going on for longer than that. The women could not remember how many children they had killed.”
Judge G L Yedke in Kolhapur had described the nine kids' murders as 'the most heinous', and observed that the two sisters seemed to have enjoyed killing the children.
The Supreme Court in its judgment said that the killings demonstrated a 'depraved mind' that killed without any compulsion. Prison, it is said, causes even the most hardened nut to crack, pondering over what landed them there.
Their mother passed away during the trial while their father Kiran Shinde turned the approver and was acquitted.
The President has also rejected the mercy petition of Rajendra Wasnik, who was sentenced to death for raping and killing a three-year-old in Amravati in March 2007. Wasnik had lured the girl with the promise of buying her biscuits before sexually assaulting and eventually killing her. The process of informing the convict, his relatives and the Nagpur jail where he is lodged has been initiated.
Negating any objections regarding the sisters’ hanging, Desk officer Deepak Jadiye of the home department said, "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).”
There isn’t any record of a woman’s execution in the country. Shatrughan Chauhan vs. Union of India stipulates a minimum period of .14 days between the receipt of communication of the rejection of the mercy petition and the scheduled date of execution expires today. These days are to be utilized to inform prisoners, their families and jail officials.