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Prominent cases of hanging
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
August 13, 2004 08:54 IST
Last Updated: August 13, 2004 18:33 IST
When Dhananjoy Chatterjee is hanged to death in the wee hours of August 14, 2004, he will become the 55th convict to undergo the death sentence in Independent India.
Though there is a provision in the Constitution for convicts sentenced to death to face a firing squad, it has never been exercised.
Surprisingly, the government has not compiled data on the cases in which convicts were hanged to death.
According to rough estimates, between 1989 and 1998, more then 700 convicts were given the death sentence in 29 states and Union Territories. The maximum (38) was in Uttar Pradesh in 1997.
Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, was the first person to be hanged in the post-Independence era.
Other prominent cases include that of Sucha Singh who was given the death sentence for killing then Punjab chief minister Pratap Singh Kairon while the latter was returning from Delhi to Chandigarh by road in the early sixties.
Ranga and Billa, two notorious criminals, were given the death sentence for killing Geeta Chopra and her younger brother Sanjay Chopra in the early eighties.
Maqbool Bhatt is the only political leader from Jammu and Kashmir to have been hanged to death. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader was hanged on February 11, 1984 for carrying out subversive activities.
Satwant Singh, assassin of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, and his co-conspirator Kehar Singh were hanged to death in Tihar Jail in Delhi in the late eighties.
The last known prominent case was that of serial killer Auto Shankar, who was hanged in Chennai in 1995.