Saturday, September 1, 2012

Assam man on death row fasts to end capital punishment

Samudra Gupta Kashyap : Guwahati, Fri Aug 31 2012, 01:43 hrs Waiting for a hangman for over 17 years now since the Sessions Judge of Kamrup awarded him a death penalty — and one that was subsequently upheld by the Gauhati High Court and the Supreme Court — Mahendra Nath Das has launched a “Gandhian” fast-unto-death in the Jorhat Central Jail, demanding abolition of capital punishment. “Capital punishment, like so many other things, is a legacy left behind by the British who treated us like slaves. I have been waiting in the prison with a death penalty for 17 years now. At this moment I pray to you to not only do away with my death sentence but also release me from prison as I have already served imprisonment more than a life sentence,” Das, who was shifted to the Jorhat Medical College Hospital after he took ill on the third day of his fast-unto-death on Wednesday, said in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India. Das was sentenced to death by the Sessions Judge, Kamrup (Guwahati) on August 18, 1997 in connection with the murder of one Harakanta Das in Guwahati on April 24, 1996. The death sentence was confirmed by the HC on February 3, 1998. The SC upheld the death sentence on May 14, 1999. A mercy petition that Das had filed before the President in 1999, was rejected in 2011. Source: The Indian Express [accessed on 1st September 2012]

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