Shabnam Ali

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Shabnam Ali
Shabnam Ali.png
Born1983 (age 38–39)
Years activeunknown-2008
Criminal statusin prison
Parent(s)Shaukat Ali
Criminal chargeMurder
Victimssee below

Shabnam Ali is a criminal who was sentenced to death for killing seven members of her family including her mother, father, two brothers, sister-in-law, cousin and 10-month-old nephew by serving them milk laced with sedatives and then slitting their throats, on the intervening night of April 14/15 in 2008.[1] She along with her boyfriend Salim was arrested on April 19, 2008. Shabnam believes to be the first female prisoner in the history of independent India who will be hanged till death.[2]

In September 2015, submitted a mercy plea which was rejected by the then governor of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Naik and in August 2016, then-President Pranab Mukherjee also rejected her mercy petition.

Early life[edit]

Shabnam hails from Bawankheri, a village in the outskirts of Amroha and belongs to the Saifi Muslim community. She did her double MA in English and Geography and was working as a teacher in a primary school in Bawankheri.[2] She was seven weeks pregnant with her boyfriend at the time she committed the crime and gave birth to a boy in the jail in December 2008 who stayed with her until 2015 and was later sent to foster care.

Case details[edit]

Salim after his arrest in 2008

Shabnam was born and brought up into an educated and land-owning family. She was working as a teacher in a primary school in Bawankheri at the time she fell in love with Salim, a Class VI dropout who operated a farmer’s grass-cutting machine. Her parents were not happy with their relationship and they stopped her from meeting Salim which angered them and provoked them to plot the murders. On the night of April 14/15 in 2008, Shabnam served milk laced with sedatives to her family and then called Salim who walked in with an axe. Shabnam then held each of her family members by their hair, while Saleem severed their necks with the axe. Shabnam then strangled 10-month-old Arsh her brother Anees's son, who couldn’t be drugged with the tea. In a statement "She said, 'The baby kept crying but Salim told me he must not be touched. But I was scared, so I throttled him myself'." They were both arrested on April 19, 2008, and Shabnam was seven weeks pregnant with Saleem's child. At the time of committing the crime, Shabnam was 25 years old with a double MA degree.[3]


On 15 July 2010, district judge SAA Hussaini ruled that Shabnam and Salim should be hanged till death for the multiple murders, a verdict subsequently upheld by the sessions court, the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court. During the course of their trial, the couple turned against each other. The Supreme Court observed in its judgement that in her Section 313 statement, Shabnam said Saleem had entered the house with a knife through the roof and killed all her family members while she was asleep. Saleem, on the other hand, said he had gone to the house "only upon the request of Shabnam" and that when he reached there, she confessed to having killed the family.[4]

Shabnam had challenged the lower court's order in the Supreme Court but the top court had upheld the decision. After this, Shabnam and Salim sent a mercy petition to the President, but their plea got rejected. She then filed a review petition in the top court but that was also rejected. Shabnam has been lodged in Rampur prison later shifted to Bareilly jail on March 2, 2021, for security reasons, after her photos with some fellow inmates surfaced on social media platforms. The photos were clicked and circulated by a male prison guard and a woman guard who was also been placed under suspension.[5] Salim is currently lodged in Agra Jail.[6]


Name Relation Age
Shaukat Ali Father 55
Hashmi Mother 50
Anees Elder brother 35
Anjum Sister in law 25
Rashid Younger brother 22
Rabia Cousin 14
Arsh Nephew 10 months

See also[edit]


  1. Feb 18, TIMESOFINDIA COM / Updated:; 2021; Ist, 14:08. "Who is Shabnam Ali: First woman to be hanged till death after independence". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-02-20.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Shabnam Ali: The First Woman To Be Hanged In Independent India". Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  3. "Lovers slay family in 'honour killing' belt". Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  4. "Photos: Flying start to India's air show in Bengaluru". Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  5. "Amroha murder case: Death-row convict Shabnam sent to Bareilly jail". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2021-03-04 – via The Economic Times.
  6. "Who is Shabnam Ali, the first woman to be hanged in Independent India". Retrieved 2021-02-20.
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