The families of the four death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking permission for mercy killing ahead of their scheduled hanging on March 20, ANI reported on Sunday.

The parents, siblings and children of the four convicts – Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh – have appealed to Kovind to grant them permission for euthanasia so that crimes like the 2012 rape and murder do not happen again.

“We request you [the President] and parents of the victim to accept our request and give us permission for euthanasia so that incidents like this [the 2012 gangrape] don’t happen again and the court doesn’t have to hang five people in place of one,” the convicts’ families wrote in their letter to Kovind.

The families also asked Kovind for forgiveness. “In our country, even mahapapi [great sinners] are forgiven,” they wrote. “Revenge is not the definition of power. There is power in forgiving.”

Death warrants for the convicts have been issued for the fourth time. Earlier this month, a court in Delhi ruled that Sharma, Singh, Thakur and Gupta will be hanged at 5.30 am on March 20. The orders were issued a day after Kovind rejected the mercy petition of Gupta, the last of the four death-row convicts.

The death warrants for the four convicts were first issued for January 22, and then postponed to February 1 because of the mercy pleas filed by two of the convicts. After this, they were scheduled to be hanged at Tihar Jail in Delhi on March 3 at 6 am, but another mercy plea led to the delay.

The four men, along with two others, raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus in Delhi in 2012. The woman died of her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. The incident triggered huge protests in the Capital and across the country.

Hangman asked to report three days ahead of execution

Tihar Jail authorities on Sunday said that hangman Pawan Jallad has been asked to report three days ahead of the scheduled hanging of the four convicts, PTI reported.

“Pawan Jallad, a hangman from Meerut, has been asked to report at Tihar Jail on March 17, three days ahead of the scheduled date of hanging,” Sandeep Goel, The Director General of Prisons, said. Jail authorities said that they will conduct dummy executions once the hangman arrives