The hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab was unique in the history of Yerawada jail. Although officials of the jail are known to plan executions elaborately and carry out trials for several weeks, Kasab’s hanging was executed at an extremely short notice.
Normally, jail officials spend almost a month to plan an execution and take trials in the jail. However, in Kasab’s case, it was done at a notice period as short as 13 days. And, all along, additional director general of police Meeran Borwankar, who is in charge of Maharashtra prisons, kept insisting that everything must go by the book.
It all started with the hunt for a hangman as the hangman in the service of Yerwada Jail has retired long since and the post has been lying vacant. The jail authorities had summoned three hangmen – one each from Nagpur, Thane and Pune. These hangmen arrived in Pune on Tuesday, barely 24 hours before the execution.
The hangman normally plays a major role in preparing for the execution. He is the one who prepares a rope for the hanging, and then waxes the rope well to ensure that the noose does not get stuck. The hangman then prepares the noose.
Thereafter, the weight of the condemned is measured and the strength of the noose is tested using sandbags of the same weight.
Such trials go on for several days. Mostly, the trials are held before sunrise.
Sources in the jail said that in Kasab’s case, most of the preparations were made by jail officials with the help of other prisoners in the absence of a hangman in the jail.
Even the pre-execution rituals are performed painstakingly.
Utmost attention is paid towards carrying out the formalities like the medical examination, last visit to the family, last supper of the condemned, last wish, last bath, last prayer and recording of utterances of last words. These formalities normally go on for two days, one day being reserved for prolonged meetings with the family. In Kasab’s case, since there was no family to meet him in jail, these formalities were completed in one day, the sources said.