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The idea behind this blog is to collect information on the death penalty in India and make it accessible. We are trying our best to put the latest information on the people who are currently on death row, the status of their cases, their mercy petitions and also the information on any death sentence across the country. Please feel free to write us and give us your suggestions and comments and also any information you have come across regarding the death penalty in India. Our email id is abolishdeathpenaltyindia@gmail.com The blog is currently managed by Grace Pelly, Lara Jesani, Nitu Sanadhya, Rebecca Gonsalvez, Reena Mary George and Vijay Hiremath. Kindly mark copies of the emails to: vijayhiremath@gmail.com reena.mary.george@univie.ac.at

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Going blind, spare me: Gujarat riot death row convict Babu Bajrangi

Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad | Published on:March 10, 2015 3:51 am Satish Jha Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi, a Bajrang Dal leader who is on death row in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, has sought mercy from Gujarat Governor Om Prakash Kohli, claiming that he is losing his eyesight. In a letter to the Governor, Bajrangi has appealed for remission of his sentence citing his medical condition. Bajrangi also claimed that he has developed several other illnesses over the past few years. Bajrangi is also facing charges in the Naroda Gam riot case along with co-convict and former state minister Maya Kodnani, who is out on bail. Sources in the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing the riot cases, said they are anticipating a correspondence from the Governor’s office on the matter. Sources said the SIT feels that Bajrangi’s letter has no legal importance since he has challenged his conviction and sentence in the Gujarat High Court, where the matter is pending. “He has sought mercy from the governor on the basis of deteriorating medical condition. We have been informed about the letter and are trying to look at the legal aspects. The letter has no weight, given his appeal petition against the conviction,” said a source in the SIT. He said the fact that Bajrangi had challenged his conviction indicated that he had not accepted it, therefore legally his appeal for mercy doesn’t stand. Sources said the SIT is preparing its reply to the governor, in case he seeks an explanation. On August 31, 2012, a special court had convicted Bajrangi, Kodnani and 29 others for killing 97 people in Naroda Patiya. In Bajrangi’s case, the order states, “Accused No.18 (Bajrangi) is convicted of the offence under section 302 (murder) read with Sec.149 of IPC and is sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for remaining period of his natural life subject to remission or commutation at the instance of the Government for sufficient reason only…” It further states, “The communal hatred displayed by communally charged mob on account of instigation of accused like A-37 (Kodnani), A-18 (Bajrangi)… resulted in the massacre.” The court order held Bajrangi as “one of the principal conspirators and one of the executors of the conspiracy”, while terming Kodnani the “kingpin”. Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat/going-blind-spare-me-gujarat-riot-death-row-convict-babu-bajrangi/ [last accessed 11.03.2015]

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ambulance driver sentenced to death for killing doctor

Press Trust of India | Jalgaon (Mah) December 18, 2013 Last Updated at 19:22 IST Observing that it was the rarest of the rare offence, a sessions court today awarded death sentence to an ambulance driver for brutally killing a woman doctor last year in a post mortem room with the help of his two associates in order to steal her jewellery. The capital punishment was given to Yuvraj Sabre by sessions judge P D Ambekar on a plea made by public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam who argued that the murder was most brutal and cold-blooded. Another accused Pankaj Sadnanshiv, brother-in-law of Yuvraj, was given life imprisonment. Gulab Sindhi, also an co-accused, had turned approver in the case and was given pardon. Dr Vijaya Choudhari was killed on March 12, 2012, in the civil hospital at Jalgaon when she was on duty. Yuvraj approached the doctor saying a body had been brought to the post mortem room for conducting autopsy. The doctor rushed to the post mortem room where the accused were present already. As soon as she entered, they locked the door and told the doctor that the body was kept inside another room. When she went there, Yuvraj strangulated her to death while the other two held her hands and legs. The trio wrapped the doctor's body with a white cloth and took it to a crematorium to perform the last rites, according to the prosecution. The accused committed the crime to steal her jewellery, Prosecutor Nikam argued and said that they had killed her in the most brutal manner. The murder was cold blooded and pre-planned, he told the court. Altogether 24 witnesses were examined by the prosecution. Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ambulance-driver-sentenced-to-death-for-killing-doctor-113121800898_1.html [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

'Cyanide' killer of women sentenced to be hanged

By V M Sathish Published Sunday, December 22, 2013 The culprit, formerly a physical education teacher in a school in southern India, used to kill victims with cyanide pills A serial killer in India, nicknamed ‘Cyanide Mohan’, who was convicted for murdering three young women with cyanide poison pills after luring them with marriage offers, has been sentenced to death by a court in India. Mohan was convicted on Saturday by the Fourth Additional District and Sessions Court in Mangalore judge B K Naik in the southern state of Karnataka in the Anita Baremar, Leelavathi and Sunanda rape and murder cases out of the 20 serial rape and murder cases registered against him. Judge Naik said Mohan’s case fell in the ‘rarest of rare’ category. The death sentence will be implemented only after getting confirmation from the High Court. The court concluded from the revelations of 49 witnesses that he had taken the lives of innocent women without any provocation. A primary school physical education teacher, Mohan is an accused in 17 other cyanide murders, mainly in Karnataka. 50-year-old Mohanan, who hailed from Kanyana village near Bantwal in Mangalore district, was arrested in 2009, from Deralakatta village near Mangalore from the house of his third wife Sridevi by police investigating the case of a missing 22-year-old woman named Anitha. On questioning him, Karnataka State Police was shocked to learn that Mohan was involved in the murder of 20 other women. He had been luring young women into a relationship with him by offering to marry them without dowry or job. Most of the cyanide murders were committed in public toilets of bus depots, according to Indian media reports. The South Indian expatriate community in the Gulf is keenly discussing the court’s judgement in this case on social networking web sites. The killer’s modus operandi was to take the women to distant places, and after sex with them in lodges, would give them cyanide tablets under the pretext of being contraceptive pills. After the women died, he would abscond with their ornaments and money. Mohan used to book rooms in lodges in different aliases but used the same handwriting and address. Karnataka Police had earlier closed many of these cases as suicides resulting from failed love affairs. According to the police, Mohan was greedy for money, gold and women but his neighbours and close relatives were not initially willing to believe that he is a serial killer. Even his two wives were unaware of his series of killings till he was arrested, according to Indian media reports. All the murders took place between 2003 and 2009, and most of the victims were women in the age group of 22 to 35 who could not afford to pay dowry or were unable to find suitable husbands. Four of his victims were from Kerala and five from Kodagu in neighbouring Karnataka state. Most of the victims had cash and gold ornaments with them, sometimes borrowed from neighbours and family friends. One of the victims even took a bank loan of Indian rupees 25,000 before eloping with Mohan. Mohan has confessed to killing 20 women, mostly from the lower socio-economic background. In 2009 alone, nine women were killed for the jewellery and the money they carried. Police caught hold of the physical education teacher, while investigating the case of Anitha who was missing from her village of Bantwal. Anitha was his 18th victim. He was traced from the mobile phone contact list of one of his victims. According to the information released by Karnataka Police, ten of the 21 murders happened in the Mysore bus stand, three at the Madikeri bus stand, two each at the Hassan bus stand and Banglore bus station, and one near the Kollur temple in Udupi district. Mohan himself appeared for his defence in court, after studying a number of legal books, according to media reports. He argued that the case had not been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. He had also begged for leniency as his family was poor, his two children were in high school and his mother was in good health. He had tried to kill himself when he was in police custody. Mohan learned about cyanide from a goldsmith who told him he used the poisonous material to polish the precious metal. He obtained the deadly material by posing as a goldsmith. Mohan would approach single women in public places, pretending prior familiarity and would pursue them for a few weeks before proposing marriage without dowry. He would present himself as a government official and elope with the victim to a distant place and book a room in a lodge close to a temple in a different name. He used to select lodges near a temple on the pretext that they would be married in the temple the next day. Either or a day before the wedding, he would give the victims two cyanide pills, convincing the victims that they are contraceptive pills and would advise them to go inside the bus depot’s toilet to take the pills because after taking the pills they would vomit. Mohan had divorced his first wife but had two other wives living in separate houses. He started the killing spree after he was sacked in 2003 from government service. Karnataka Police recovered cyanide pills, forged identity and visiting cards in various names, fake government seals and rubber stamps, gold ornaments and mobile phones from his house. He maintained a list of women he tried to attract and was successful with about 20 per cent of the women he tried to lure, police said. Source: http://www.emirates247.com/crime/region/cyanide-killer-of-women-sentenced-to-be-hanged-2013-12-22-1.532145 [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

Bhopal: Rape convict gets death sentence

TNN | Dec 24, 2013, 04.30AM IST BHOPAL: A sessions court in Sagar district awarded capital punishment to a 20-year-old youth, who had raped and murdered a six-year-old girl on December 7, 2012. Additional district judge's court found Vijay Raikwar guilty of luring the girl to his house, raping and strangulating her to death. Vijay's friend, Rajan Raikwar, who was also booked by police, was acquitted by the court as prosecution failed to produce evidences against him during trial. Rajan was charge-sheeted for tampering and destroying evidence. The girl was a Class I student who lived with her parents at a village under Rehli police station area. After returning from school on that day, she went to Vijay's house to meet his friend, Rahan. Though Rajan was not inside the house, Rajan took her in and raped her. Later he strangulated her to death fearing she would reveal the matter to her parents. He covered her body in a sheet and left it abandoned near a pond at the village outskirts. Meanwhile, when the girl did not return home till 8 pm, her parents started a search in the locality. One of their neighbours informed that she was last seen at Vijay's house. And when her parents reached Vijay's house, her clothes were recovered. He initially pleaded ignorance but when interrogated by the police, confessed to his crime. Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Rape-convict-gets-death-sentence/articleshow/27812460.cms [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

Minor rape-murder case: HC reserves order on death penalty

Press Trust of India | Mumbai December 26, 2013 Last Updated at 13:56 IST Bombay High Court has reserved its order on the death penalty confirmation petition of a labourer who had raped and killed an eight-year-old girl in the neighbouring Thane district in 2009. A sessions court of Thane had awarded death sentence to Shekhar Gupta in May this year on charges of kidnap, rape and murder of the girl. The court had termed it as "rarest of rare" case. The matter then came to the High Court for confirmation of the death penalty. A division bench of Justices V K Tahilramani and V L Achiliya after hearing the case recently reserved its order. The case dates back to December 25, 2009, when the victim's blood splattered body was recovered from an isolated spot near the police firing range on the foot hill of Yeoor forest in Thane. The next day, police arrested Gupta after three children - the friends of the victim - gave a statement that they had seen Gupta take the girl on December 24 from Lokmanya Nagar slums where she resided. During search, the police also recovered Gupta's blood-stained clothes from his room near the Yeoor forest. According to prosecution, Gupta had lured the girl with chocolates and biscuits and taken her to an isolated spot where he raped her and then murdered her. The victim's father had even run into Gupta while searching for his daughter in the neighbourhood. At that time, Gupta denied having seen the girl. While convicting Gupta, the sessions court had relied on circumstantial evidence and the last seen theory. Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/minor-rape-murder-case-hc-reserves-order-on-death-penalty-113122600310_1.html [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

Re-trial can't be ordered due to new evidence in Rajiv assassination or Veerappan aides cases: Supreme Court

India | Written by A Vaidyanathan , Edited by Shamik Ghosh | Updated: January 03, 2014 17:28 IST NEW DELHI: Supreme Court today made it clear that it can't order a re-trial on grounds of new evidence in the cases relating to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and sandalwood smuggler Veerappan's aides, who are on a death row. Chief Justice of India Justice P Sathasivam today said, "Now it has become fancy for an Investigation Officer to make statements after twenty years that he has committed a mistake. We can't reopen the trial. If we encourage this it will set a bad precedent and all cases will come here" These comments assume significance because the investigation officer in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case had said recently that he had not fully recorded the statement of Perarivalan, one of the convicts facing death sentence. Perarivalan's mother has approached the Madras High court to commute her son's sentence to life based on the new evidence. The Chief Justice's observations came during the hearing of a plea which sought re-trial in a case where four associates of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan were convicted and sentenced to death for killing 21 policemen. The petitioner's lawyer Colin Gonsalves argued that new evidence has come and there should be re-trial. The Chief Justice said, "In every criminal case there may be slackness. It may be Veerappan or Rajiv Gandhi case. We can't entertain these type of petitions," and dismissed the petition. The Supreme Court had already reserved its verdict on Veerappan's aides to commute death sentence to life because of the delay in deciding on their mercy petitions by the President. Source: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/re-trial-cant-be-ordered-due-to-new-evidence-in-rajiv-assassination-or-veerappan-aides-cases-supreme-546692 [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

Patna: Capital punishment to 10, lifer to 4 in Amausi massacre set

Press Trust of India | Patna January 3, 2014 Last Updated at 19:42 IST The Patna High Court today set aside the death sentence of 10 and life imprisonment to four others in the Amausi massacre in Khagaria district over three years ago, on benefit of doubt. A division bench of Justices V N Sinha and R K Mishra passed the order on appeal filed by all 14 convicts challenging the Khagaria district court order of 2012 awarding death sentence to ten and lifer to four others. "The appellants are granted benefit of doubt ... The ADJ's order is being set aside and the appeal allowed," the bench said while acquitting all the 14. "The appellants are directed to be released forthwith if they are not wanted in any other case," the court ruled. Khagaria's Additional District and Session Judge Chandra Bhushan Dwivedi, had in an order on February 15, 2012, awarded death sentence to ten accused persons and lifer to four others. Altogether 16 people, including five children, all residents of Itcharia village, were gunned down allegedly by the armed Dalit men of Amausi Bahiar village on the intervening night of October 1-2, 2009. Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/capital-punishment-to-10-lifer-to-4-in-amausi-massacre-set-114010300989_1.html [last accessed on 04.03.2015]