Saturday, September 8, 2012

Six convicts in death row in Bengal jails

Saibal Sen, TNN Sep 5, 2012, 04.04PM IST KOLKATA: With Supreme Court upholding Ajmal Kasab's death sentence, six death row convicts in Bengal spending the life in the condemned cells in Alipore and Presidency Jails still await to know their fate. Among the six, three appeals are now pending in the Supreme Court; the rest in Calcutta high court. In one case, the convict's kin has informed jail authorities that the high court has commuted the death sentence to life but the order is yet to reach Alipore jail. The last death sentence in the country was executed in Alipore central jail on August 14, 2004. Dhananjoy Chaterjee, 39, was hanged for raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl in Bhowanipore on March 5, 1990. Chatterjee was a security-guard of the complex where the child stayed. Before that a serial killer Auto Shankar was hanged in Chennai central jail on April 27, 1995. Before Dhananjoy, the last execution in Bengal was also in Alipore central jail in 1993 when murder convicts, Kartik Sil and Sukumar Burman, were hanged. Since Dhananjoy's hanging courts in Bengal had passed several death sentences, the first was by a special sessions court which sentenced to death Aftab Ansari and Jamaluddin Naser to death on April 27, 2005 in the USIS attack case. Ansari is in Alipore jail since May 3, 2002; while Naser was brought here before him, on February 21 that year. The death sentence was upheld by the Calcutta high court prompting the duo to appeal against it in the Supreme Court. The other case which pending in the Supreme Court, sources said, is the death sentence awarded by the General Security Force court March 2, 2007 to former BSF head constable Balbir Singh. It is learnt the Guwahati high court has already turned down Singh's appeal against it prompting him to move the Supreme Court. Singh - admitted to Alipore jail on October 6, 2010 - was convicted for murdering his superior Deputy Commandant Kameswar Singh for ticking him off for dereliction of duty while posted at Rajnagar outpost in South Tripura district. Balbir then gunned down Assistant Commandant Alok Ranjan as he had witnessed the killing of the other officer. Among the others who've also appealed against their death sentence in Calcutta high court are Sambhu Lohar (in Alipore jail) and Kebal Roy (in Presidency jail). Sambhu was sentenced to death by a Suri court on September 15, 2010 for murdering two people inside an Sainthia oil mill. The victims were first drugged and later hacked to death with a chopper later their bodies were set on to destroy evidence. The day the Additional Sessions Judge, 3rd court, Suri sentenced Sambhu to death he was immediately brought to Alipore jail and send to the condemned cell. Roy was sentenced to death by a Kolkata court on September 24, 2008. Roy had murdered his employers - Tarachand (68) and Sarada Devi Banka (56) - in their Mansarovar Apartments home in Camac Street on April 18, 2005. Roy, police said, also stole Rs 20-lakhs worth of valuables. After the murder, Roy fled Kolkata and was arrested from his native village Simultala in Bihar a month later. Roy is in Presidency jail ever since his arrest. On August 25, this year, they've informed that a Calcutta high court division bench has commuted Bagdi's death sentence to life imprisonment. The formal court orders are yet to reach Alipore jail, though. These convicts aren't the only ones in condemned cells till a few days back. Nikku Yadav, the domestic help who was convicted of murdering his employer Rabindra Kaur Luthra in her Tripura Enclave flat in Ballygunge Circular Road on February 15, 2007, was another death row convict till the Calcutta high court on October 7, 2010 commuted his death sentence to life. Nikku had been handed death by the Alipore Sessions Court on August 29, 2008. source: [accessed on 8th September 2012]

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