Death row convict Shabnam meets son, urges him to study

The 12-year-old son of Shabnam Ali, a death row convict lodged in Rampur jail, has met his mother.

The boy, accompanied by his guardian, Usman, met his mother for about 45 minutes on Sunday.

He later told the media his mother has urged him to focus on his studies.

“My mother asked me to focus on my studies. I am requesting ‘President uncle’ again to forgive her,” he said.

Earlier, a photograph of the boy holding a placard that said, “President uncle, please forgive my mother Shabnam,” had gone viral on the social media.

Rampur Jail Superintendent P.D. Salonia said: “After the news arrived that preparations had begun to hang Shabnam at Mathura jail, the mother and son desperately wanted to meet each other.

“The boy, who otherwise visits his mother in Rampur jail along with his guardian every three months, came to visit her here on Sunday afternoon. The meeting continued for around 45 minutes following which he left.”

Shabnam, now 38, had been convicted of killing seven of her family members — her mother, father, two brothers, sister-in-law, cousin and 10-month-old nephew — after hef family opposed her relationship with Salim.

The two of them slit their throats after serving them sedative-laced milk. Shabnam was pregnant at the time.

She gave birth in Moradabad jail in December 2008. When he turned six, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Amroha handed him over to his guardian, a resident of Bulandshahr district.

Shabnam and Salim, meanwhile, were convicted in 2010 and, then, sentenced to death. Shabnam challenged the Amroha sessions court verdict in the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court, and also sought mercy from the President after all three did not accept her plea.

She went back to the the apex court which again rejected her review petition in January last year.

Over the past six years, every three months, the boy is taken to the Amroha CWC and then the Rampur jail, where his mother is lodged.

Usman, who has been taking care of the boy, told reporters that Shabnam told her son that she is not guilty of the crime she has been convicted of.

“She wants a CBI inquiry because she insists that she has been framed in the matter,” he said.

While she has not exhausted her legal options, the Mathura jail is preparing to hang her.

Director General of Prisons Anand Kumar said: “As and when the date is finalized and the death warrant issued, Shabnam will be taken to Mathura jail for hanging.”

Shabnam will be the first woman in Independent India to be taken to the gallows.