Buxar jail preparing hanging ropes for Nirbhaya convicts?
Buxar Central Jail, which is known for supplying hanging ropes for carrying out capital punishments, has been ordered to keep 10 pieces ready. This has triggered speculations that the ropes will be used to hang the Nirbhaya convicts. Apparently, these ropes cannot be stored for long after manufacture.
A jail in Buxar district of Bihar, known for its expertise in manufacturing execution ropes, has been directed to keep 10 pieces ready by the end of this week, triggering speculations that these might be used to hang the 2012 Nirbhaya case convicts.
Buxar Central Jail, the only prison in the state having the required knowhow, received an instruction to the effect last week, though it was not known where these ropes -- strong with a short shelf-life -- would be dispatched.
These ropes are known as “Manila Ropes” and are used to carry out capital punishments.
"We received instructions from the prison directorate to keep 10 ropes ready by December 14. We do not know where these will be used. But the Buxar jail has a long tradition of manufacturing execution ropes," said Buxar jail superintendent Vijay Kumar Arora.
According to Arora, it takes about three days to prepare one rope and mainly involves manual labour with a little use of motorised machinery.
Buxar jail had earlier supplied hanging ropes for executions of 2008 Mumbai terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab and 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
"It is from this jail a rope was sent to execute Afzal Guru. Then in 2016-17, we received rope orders from Patiala jail, though we did not know the purpose that time," said the jail superintendent.
Arora said that last time the cost of a rope which was supplied from here was Rs 1,725.
"The rate varies from time to time mainly on account of fluctuations in the prices of iron and brass. These metals are used to make bushes that are fastened around the rope to ensure that the noose remains firm around the neck and the knot does not come undone when a human body is suspended from it," he said.
Asked about the manpower required for the job, Arora said: "Normally five to six persons are engaged in making one rope. Yarns made of 152 strands of thread are plaited together to make a rope of desired dimensions. Each rope uses up close to 7,000 such strands."
Arora said that meeting the deadline is not going to be a problem as there are a sufficient number of able-bodies prisoners who can withstand the rigour as well as the experienced ones who can provide supervision and advice.
"One thing about these ropes is that if stored for long after manufacture, these become unfit for use," Arora added.
Speculation was rife in a section of the media that four men who were convicted of the December 16, 2012 gangrape of a young physiotherapy student
inside a moving bus in Delhi, could be hanged later this month.
The recent sexual assault and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad and the subsequent killing of the accused in a police encounter have evoked a fresh clamour -- including appeals by family members of the Delhi victim -- for the execution of the convicts whose death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court more than a year ago.
Last week, Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts in the Delhi gangrape case, had sought immediate withdrawal of his mercy plea from President Ram Nath Kovind, saying it was sent without his consent.
Incidentally, another convict in the case, Akshay Thakur, who worked as a cleaner on the bus, hails from Aurangabad district in Bihar.
Capital punishment, also known as death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime.
Hanging is the method of execution in the civilian court system, according to the Indian Criminal Procedure Code. Under the 1950 Army Act, hanging as well as shooting are both listed as official methods of execution in the military court-martial system.
India is one of the 53 countries that have death penalty. Death penalty, though, is given in rare cases in the country.
Categories of offenders excluded from death penalty:
Individuals below age 18 at the time of crime: According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime cannot be executed.
Pregnant Women: According to a 2009 amendment, a pregnant woman sentenced to death must be granted mercy.
According to the Indian Penal Code, individuals who were mentally ill at the time of the crime and who did not understand the nature of the act or were not aware that the act was wrong or against the law cannot be held criminally liable. This could be interpreted to exclude intellectually disabled persons from death penalty.
Mentally ill: According to the Indian Penal Code, individuals who were mentally ill at the time of the crime and who did not understand the nature of the act cannot be held criminally liable.
The first hanging that took place in Independent India was that of Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte in the Mahatma Gandhi Assasination case on November 15, 1949.
In the past decade, only four criminals have been executed in India.
Dhananjoy Chatterjee: He was convicted in the rape and murder of a 14 year old, first ever execution since 1995. Chatterjee was executed on August 14, 2004 at Alipore Central Jail, Kolkata.
Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab: He was executed on November 21, 2012 at Yerwada Jail, Pune for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Afzal Guru: He was convicted of plotting the 2001 attack on Indian Parliament. He was executed on February 9, 2013 at Tihar Jail, Delhi.
Yakub Memon: He was convicted of financing the 1993 Mumbai bombings. He was executed on July 30, 2015 at Central Jail, Nagpur.
Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde are the only two women in India who were sentenced to death. Gavit and Shinde were found guilty of kidnapping and murder of six children. Their mercy pleas were rejected by the President after the Supreme Court of India confirmed their death sentence.