It is the country’s first execution since 1995.
Dhananjoy Chatterjee, 39, was hanged at dawn at the Alipore Central Jail in Calcutta where he had spent the last 13 years in solitary confinement.
Chatterjee was convicted for the 1990 rape and murder of 16-year-old Hetal Parekh, who lived in the building where he worked as a security guard.
“Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged at 0430 (2330 GMT),” Inspector General of Prisons Joydeb Chakraborty told reporters.
Chatterjee’s family did not collect his body for cremation
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Dhananjoy hanged to death
Hangman Nata Mallik, who complained of uneasiness after hanging Dhananjoy in Kolkata on Saturday is brought in an ambulance to his residence. His son (extreme left), who assisted him to hang Dhananjoy, is also seen in the picture. — PTI photo
Kolkata, August 14
Dhananjoy Chatterjee, the rapist and killer of 14-year-old schoolgirl Hetal Parekh, was hanged to death today at Alipore Central Jail sharp at 4-30 in the morning, ending a prolonged chapter of legal battle over his crime and punishment, his life and death.
It also ended the continuing hopes, anxieties and agonies of Dhananjoy’s parents, wife and other relatives at their remote Kuldihi village home in Bankura, about 200 km from here.
Dhananjoy was subsequently cremated at the Keoratala burning ghat in Kalighat, south Kolkata under heavy police escort. None of his family members was present either at the Alipore jail or the Keoratala burning ghat.
|Students offer prayer in front of Hetal Parekh’s photo on the campus of Welland Goldsmith School after Dhananjay was hanged to death at Alipore Central Jail in Kolkata on Saturday. — PTI photo|
Dhananjoy’s last wishes of donating his eyes and kidneys for the cause of humanity, however, could not be fulfilled as “no objection” to this act, had not been obtained at the last moment from his family, the IG (Prison), Mr Jaidev Chakraborty regretted.
He said Dhananjoy was perfectly in good spirits and there was no resistance from his side when he had been brought to the gallows and put on the deck for hanging.
He kept silent all through as if he had been reconciled with the situation. However, at the penultimate moment, he became a bit philosophical and was heard saying, “Oh God, let there be good to all,’’ the IG said describing Dhananjoy’s last moments.
Dhananjoy had a sound sleep last night after he had been administered a heavy dose of sleeping injection. He had his supper with roti, fish curry and vegetables. At noon during lunch he had been served with rice, fish, fried vegetables and dahi as desired by him.
Throughout the day till late evening, Dhananjoy listened to Anup Jalota’s bhajans and Manna Dey’s songs on a tape-recorder which the jail authorities had arranged for him as he wished. But most of the time, he maintained a deep silence. He wanted to write something to his parents and wife on the postcards supplied to him, but he could not complete his writing.
The hangman, Nata Mallick, declared soon after the hanging that it was his last act as hangman.
Eightyfour-year-old Mallick, who had so far acted as hangman in 25 cases since Independence, will now start a new livelihood by selling puja items on the streets near a Kali temple.
Dhananjoy did not resist at the time of being hanged, but some human rights organisations, including the APDR, brought out a protest march from South Kolkata to Alipore Central Jail last night, demanding the suspension of his death penalty.
On the other hand, teachers and students of Well & Goldsmith School, of which Hetal was a student, today held a prayer meeting inside the school campus in the memory of Hetal as well as Dhananjoy. At the remote village home in Bankura, Dhananjoy’s parents and other family members spent silent hours, refusing to meet and talk to outsiders.
(published onAugust 15, 2004, THE TRIBUNE)