The Hindalga Central Prison at Belgaum, which had housed freedom fighters before Independence, and is one of the few jails that have gallows, is preparing to have its 37th hanging.
Prisoner Saibanna Ningappa Natikar (63), convicted of killing his two wives and a daughter, is expected to be hanged here after the jail officials receive the order copy of Supreme Court, following the rejection of mercy petition by the President.
Saibanna was sentenced to death in 2005 for murdering his second wife Nagavva and daughter Vijayalakshmi in 1994. At the time of murder, Saibanna was on parole from a life sentence for killing his first wife, Malakamma in 1992.
According to charges, Saibanna, of Mandewad village in Jevargi taluk of Gulbarga district, killed his wives suspecting their fidelity.
Villagers said he killed Malakamma of Yankanchi village, suspecting her of being a practising Devadasi. He married Nagavva, daughter of Dattu of Bosaga, who was also an inmate in Hindalga jail. According to the chargesheet, on parole, he went to his wife's house on August 12, 1994, and killed Nagavva and daughter Vijaylaxmi brutally.
The Gulbarga district court sentenced Saibanna to death in April 2005. The order was upheld by Karnataka High Court, and finally by the Supreme Court on February 14, 2007. Saibanna's mercy petition was rejected by the President. Saibanna is second person, whose mercy petition is rejected by the President after that of Ajmal Kasab, who was hanged on November 21, 2012.
Though Saibanna's petition was supported by 14 former judges to reduce the death sentence into life imprisonment, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the petition, stating that capital punishment was compulsory for any prisoner convicted of murder for the second time.
Saibanna's kin, who visited the jail on Thursday, were despondent. It is also learnt that he had married for a third time, Sarubai, an anganwadi helper in Hippargi Tanda, in 1999 and has a son called Sharanabasava by her. Jail officials told DNA that Saibanna, who has spent 40 years in jail, had turned religious and to meditation.