Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article
Home > News > PTI

Dhananjoy Chatterjee takes comfort in bhajans

August 14, 2004 00:38 IST
Last Updated: August 14, 2004 10:52 IST

As the high-security Alipore Central Jail got ready for the hanging of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, the jail was filled with the strains of bhajans (hymns).

The 42-year old convict, sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl Hetal Parekh in 1990, would be hanged at 4:30am on Saturday.

Hangman Nata Mullick, who was taken to the jail on Thursday evening, on Friday carried out a mock hanging to ensure that everything goes as per plan, Jail Minister Biswanath Choudhury said.

Mullick used a 75-kg sandbag, approximately one and half times the body weight of the convict, during the mock trial.

He and his son Mahadeb carried out a complete rehearsal of the entire process and finalised every details like which direction the convict would face at the gallows and how his legs and hands would be tied.

Also Read

Dhananjoy hanging: August 14, 0430 IST

Hanging: The deadly procedure

Prominent cases of hanging

Meanwhile, Dhananjoy had been provided with cassettes of bhajans and devotional songs as per his wish in his cell. When asked whether that was his last wish, Choudhury said, "There is nothing like a last wish in the jail code." The convict wanted to hear devotional songs and bhajans, which had been made available to him.

"Dhananjoy had his lunch and seemed to be calm 12 hours before his scheduled hanging," the minister said. A crowd had gathered outside the jail.

Dhananjoy, son of a priest in a Bankura village is a believer in the 'shakti cult'. He used to conduct Kali puja inside his cell and engaged himself in meditation during the past few days.

He also read aloud excerpts from the Gita in his 10ftx8ft cell, jail sources said.

After managing to stave off the hangman's noose for 13 years since he was first handed out the death sentence by a sessions court, Dhananjoy finally lost the battle when President A P J Abdul Kalam rejected his plea for mercy.

According to jail sources, he then sought three postcards to write his 'last letters' to father Bangsidar and wife Poornima.

Meanwhile, a security cordon has been thrown around the jail to prevent any untoward incident as a few human rights organisations plan to take out a procession against capital punishment.

Dhananjoy's family in Bankura district has also been put under strict security following their earlier threat to commit mass suicide if he was hanged.

His hanging, the first in the state since 1993, has already triggered a nationwide debate over the continuation of capital punishment.

Meanwhile, in a last-ditch effort, Dhananjoy's mother and his wife on Friday sent a fresh mercy appeal to the President, brother Bikash Chatterjee said at his native village.

The family, however, seems resigned to their fate, confining themselves to their home at their native village, refusing to speak to anybody.

The family also refused to accept the official communication about the rejection of the second mercy plea by the President on August 4, which was to be handed over to Chatterjee's wife, Poornima.

The district authorities had to paste the communication at the gate of her house, district Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar said.

The Hanging of Dhananjoy Chatterjee: Coverage

More reports from West Bengal
© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 17

Sub: Human Rights activists hold vigil

I don't understand the objective of many Human Rights organization. When a minor is raped, they come to street asking Justice. When action is taken, ...

Posted by Akilur Rahman

Sub: dhanjoy

I really appreciate the presidents decision, our president is a very cultured sensitive person and his decisions are always right. Dhanjoys father should be ashamed ...

Posted by roshni

Sub: He killed an innocent girl

By any stretch of imagination, a person who has killed an innocent person without any reason or logic, just because of his lust or hatred ...

Posted by Vineet

Sub: Capital punishment to Dhananjoy Chatterjee

Double punishment for single crime? A 14 year jail sentence ending in hanging? This is a travesty of justice.

Posted by Arindam Purkayastha

Sub: May hanging stop rapes and injustice i society?

This is an opinion of a small and simple person,who solely believe in global democracy and justice. As a member and living object in todays ...

Posted by Shroban Basu



Copyright 2005 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.