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Dhananjoy hanged

By Malabika Bhattacharya



Heavy security around the Alipore Jail where Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged to death on Saturday. — Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

KOLKATA, AUG. 14 . A few fleeting moments before his death by hanging on his 42nd birthday, Dhananjoy Chatterjee, the rape and murder convict, tried to redeem himself, informed sources said.

Standing on the gallows at 4.30 a.m. on Saturday at the Alipore Central Jail, Dhananjoy forgave the hangman and others associated with the execution of his death sentence passed 14 years ago by a trial court for rape and murder of Hetal Parekh, a teenaged-schoolgirl. "I forgive you. God bless you," said Dhananjoy, India's most watched former death-row inmate after the hangman Nata Mullick, 83, went up to him to put the customary black hood on the convict before putting and tightening the noose round his neck. "Dhananjoy, please forgive me for what I am going to do. I am just carrying out what the sarkar (government) and the court have ordered me to do. Hume maaf kar do."

The execution of the death sentence under which Dhananjoy lived for 14 years, trying to roll it back through protracted but unsuccessful legal battle, was announced by the Inspector-General, Prisons, Joydeb Chakraborty, at 7.30 a.m. "He was hanged at 4.30 a.m. Before he went, he said God would be kind to all (of us).His body was handed over to the Hindu Satkar Samity." He was cremated at 8 a.m.

Earlier, Dhananjoy, his face covered, said he was innocent but he had no ill-feelings, the sources said.

"I would like all of you to know I am innocent and I am going without justice. I have no malice, no ill-feelings towards any one of you," he said.

Seconds later, the magistrate dropped the red handkerchief on the ground in a pre-determined signal to Nata Mullick who pulled the lever making the wooden platform give away. Hands and feet tied, Dhananjoy dropped to his death below. The body was kept hanging for half an hour to enable the doctor to carry out the necessary examination and pronounce him dead by hanging.

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