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Monday, Nov 29, 2021
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Yama's Not Here

Bhagalpur jail has no hangman to 'liberate' its condemned

Yama's Not Here
Yama's Not Here
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Also waiting in death row are Veer Kunwar Paswan, Krishna Mochi, Nandlal Mochi, Dharmender alias Dharo Chamar, all from Gaya, who have been sentenced by a TADA court for involvement in a massacre and awaiting the gallows in Bhagalpur since July 8, 2001. These five, whose sentences have been confirmed by the apex court, are among the 36 condemned prisoners in this jail. The cases of others are pending before either the high court or the Supreme Court. Bhagalpur is the only prison, shared by Bihar and Jharkhand, where condemned prisoners are kept. But for the past four years, no one has been executed. The last hangman from Babupur village in Bhagalpur is now dead. Jail authorities are looking for a suitable replacement. Says minister of state for jails Ashok Choudhary: "There's no provision to keep a hangman as permanent employee." A hangman is called, he says, when he's needed.

IG (prisons) Ravikant, however, says "none of the condemned prisoners are ready for execution" because their petitions are still pending before the President or the courts. Adds he: "If the situation arises we'll hire a hangman." Ravikant recalls that in 1996 a hangman had been hired to perform an execution. He, however, isn't aware that the man is no more. Who qualifies to be a hangman? Says the IG: "Anybody who's willing to do the job." He refutes rumours about moves to execute by injecting poison.

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