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Dhananjoy pleaded innocence till last: Hangman

August 14, 2004 17:34 IST

Octogenarian hangman Nata Mullick, who carried out his last hanging on Saturday by executing rape and murder convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee, said he cried after completing the job at the Alipur Central Jail.
"Immediately after hanging Dhananjoy I cried before the IG (of prison) saheb", Mullick, who fell sick a little after the 4:30 am hanging, told a private TV channel.

The 83-year old hangman who carried out his 25th hanging today, was apparently overwhelmed by the cool of Dhananjoy as he offered no resistence and even blessed the hangman but went on claiming his innocence till the last.

"Dhananjoy kept saying, 'Ami Nirdosh. Amake mere phelchhe sab (I am innocent. They all are killing me)' as we led him to the gallows," Mullick said.

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Narrating the last moments of Dhananjoy's journey to the gallows, the hangman said when he and his two sons sought the convict's forgiveness for hanging him, Dhananjoy simply said, "Tomader mangal hok. Tomader kaj tomra karo (God bless you. You do your duty)."

About the mental condition of the convict, Mullick said that he looked not that nervous 'except for the time when he was taken to the platform and he looked at the rope'.

Mullick, who has already announced his retirement and nominated one of his sons as next hangman, later fell sick and had to be stretchered to his south Kolkata home after doctors attending on him said that there was nothing serious and he was suffering from high blood pressure.

Mullick also said Dhananjoy had his bath, performed puja and took sweets and curd from the police before being taken to the execution ground.

Mullick said he had been taken to the jail two days ago to acclimatise himself with the situation.

"For two days I was in jail premises to acclimatise with the situation. I took information about the convict from time to time," he said.

"Dhananjoy did not want to be carried to the gallows and preferred to walk up," he said, adding that before that he offered his hands to be tied in the back.

The hangman went on to say that he, and his son Mahadev and grandson, did not face any resistance from the convict.

"Dhananjoy seemed unnerved even when he was on his way to the gallows," Mullick said, refusing to be accompanied by hand.

The death row convict even said, "I am innocent. However, whatever the governement decides, will be done," the hangman quoted him as having muttered at that time.

"He was totally resigned to his fate," Mullick added.

He said, "I begged before Dhananjoy and told him that I am carrying out only government's order."

Mullick said after carrying out the job he could not check himself and broke down after he pulled the lever.

"I told the superintendent that I want to go home. But, he said I should keep strength. He also asked me to go some other place and not home."

Mullick's behaviour today was in contrast to his recent strong words for Dhananjoy when he had said that for such a crime he should be thrown before hungry tigers.

Dhananjoy had been sentenced to death for rape and murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl, Hetal Parekh, in 1990.

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