Meerut: Nithari murders convict Surendra Koli is facing death and is spending his last few days anxiously.
While awaiting his hanging, Koli is reported to be spending time reading religious books.
But for someone who is accused of some of the gruesome murders ever seen, the question troubling his mind is – is hanging "painful"?
Koli was to be hanged on Monday but his execution was deferred by a week by the Supreme Court.
The 'extra' time he has now got in jail are nothing more than uneasy moments for him.
Reports say the news of his imminent execution has triggered "depression and anxiety" in Koli.
"He (Koli) is enquiring from prison staff about the date when he would be hung and was the whole procedure a painful and long one," IANS quoted a prison official as saying.
He is also spotted reciting 'Hanuman Chalisa' and some Hindu hymns, but largly he is aloof and "not in a mood to talk much".
"He is most of the time expressionless but, yes, of late anxiety is writ large on his face and that is for all to see," a source said.
Koli was arrested from the D-5 Kothi in Noida in 2005 after news of the sensational killing of children broke in the village of Nithari. Most of the killed were children of household helps and others who worked in Noida homes as drivers, guards etc.
Koli was convicted for the murder of a girl, Rimpa Halder, who went missing in Noida in December 2006. After a police investigation, she was found to have been murdered by Koli. During the probe, the skeletal remains of many other children were recovered from a drain adjacent to a house in Nithari, an area in Noida where Koli worked as a domestic help for businessman Moninder Singh Pandher.
Both Koli and Pandher were sentenced to death, but later the Allahabad High Court acquitted Pandher and upheld Koli's death sentence.
(With agency inputs)