Held guilty, they hope to escape noose

Held guilty, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma are hoping that the judge would hand them a lighter sentence, not death, on Wednesday, sources in Tihar jail, where they are lodged, said.

The other two men, Mukesh Singh and Akshay Thakur, remained quiet and withdrawn after reaching the jail following the pronouncement of the verdict, the sources said.

Though all four took their afternoon meals after returning from the fast track court in Saket, no one returned to their cells for a nap. "Pawan and Vinay are expecting that they would be handed life imprisonment. They told fellow inmates that the judge might consider their age and the video clip they submitted in court and hand them a lenient sentence. They also said that their lawyers had assured them that they would appeal in the High Court and make sure that they are acquitted," a jail source said.

"Since they came back from the court, they have been talking about the sentencing to their fellow inmates. On the contrary, Mukesh and Akshay, who are lodged in jail no. 4, refused to speak to anyone," the source said.

According to the source, the vigilance on the accused had been tightened after the verdict.

The jail authorities, he said, did not want to take any chances after accused Ram Singh was found dead in his cell inside the prison in March this year.

"All the four accused seem tense and nervous. Therefore, we are being extra careful and keeping watch," the source said.

They were asked if they wanted to meet their families but the four men refused, saying they were tired and wanted to be left alone.

"We have asked the inmates sharing their cells to keep an eye on them and put them at ease," the source said.

At night, the four had their meals and then watched news on the gangrape case on television. "They insisted that we put on a news channel as they wanted to see the country's reaction to the verdict. They also sought permission to watch TV a little longer than usual. Then they retreated to their cells," the source said.

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