Kasab execution 56th in Independent India’s history
By Toby Antony | Published: 22nd November 2012 10:06 AM |
Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged to death at Pune’s Yerawada Prison on Wednesday, was the 56th person to be executed in the country since 1947. It was also the first hanging in the country in the past eight years.
Prior to this, the last one to be put to death was 43-year-old Dhananjoy Chatterjee from West Bengal. He was executed on August 14, 2004 for the rape and murder of teenager Hetal Parekh in 1990.
The first to be hanged in the country following independence from the British were Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte. And the duo were executed at the Ambala Jail on November 15, 1949.
In Kerala, however, the last man to be hanged was serial killer ‘Ripper’ Chandran at the Kannur Central Prison in 1992.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), as many as 1223 persons were sentenced to death from January 2003 to December 2011 in the country. Also, 3717 persons had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment during this period.
Presently, some 530 death sentence cases are under the consideration of the Supreme Court and the President for clemency. And UP topped the list of states which witnessed the maximum number of death sentences being awarded to convicts in various cases. During the 2003-2011 period, as many as 317 people were given the capital punishment.
Following UP in second and third place, in terms of the number of cases where the death penalty had been awarded, were Karnataka and West Bengal.
In Kerala, though, 32 persons were sentenced to death from 2003 to 2011. Also, the death sentences of 23 convicts had been commuted to life imprisonment during this period. And the facility for carrying out executions is available only at the Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur Central Jails. Kannur Jail, in fact, has the facility to hang two persons at a time.
However, the Prison Department has been forced to go without the services of a professional hangman for the past several years. Incidentally, a similar situation prevails across the country. “We had invited applications for the post of hangmen last year.
“Many including highly educated persons applied for the post. But due to the objections raised by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and NGOs, we had to cancel the appointment. Now, if a case like Kasab’s comes, we will have to carry out the execution ourselves,” an official said.