The last hangman of Maharashtra died earlier this week with his last wish remaining unfulfilled. Arjun Bhika Jadhav (77), a native of Solapur, breathed his last on Monday with his wish to hang 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab unaccomplished.
He was cremated on Tuesday at Yavali in Mohol taluka of Solapur. Jadhav was hospitalised two weeks ago, after he complained of uneasiness.
“At the hospital, he was repeatedly requesting doctors to make him well soon as he wanted to hang Kasab,” said Sangeet Kasbe, Jadhav’s son-in-law.
Kasbe said Jadhav was keen on hanging the Pakistani terrorist ever since his death penalty was confirmed by the Supreme Court.
Unlike hangmen from other parts of the country whose services were hired only when needed, Jadhav was a full-time employee who had joined the prison services as a sepoy in 1963. His first execution job was in September 1963.
The last one was in August 1995—a year before he retired—when he hanged Sudhakar Joshi, convicted of murdering his employer and two children in broad daylight after robbing them.
In fact, this was also the last execution carried out in Maharashtra.
In his 33 years of service, Jadhav had hanged 101 convicts not just in Maharashtra, but also in neighbouring states.
Among those hanged by Jadhav at Pune’s Yerwada prison gallows include Sukhdev Singh alias Sukha and Harjinder Singh alias Jinda, who were convicted for the assassination of former Army Chief General Arun Kumar Vaidya.
Jadhav had carried out the execution of two Khalistani terrorists in October 1992. After that, he had been in hiding fearing attacks by supporters of Khalistani cause.