The hangman's dilemma: It is never easy at the gallows

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Speak about the irony of a hangman. This constable from the Yerawada jail in Pune had carried out one of the most high profile executions a couple of years back. It was Ajmal Kasab and today he executed Yakub Memon.

While a lot is spoken about a prisoner and his mental state before the execution, one needs to think about the hangman as well.

[Live Updates: Yakub Memon hanged]


"It is not an easy job", a retired hangman had informed recently."It is after all the power that God alone has got and that is to take one's life. It is never easy", the hangman said.

Executed with precision:

The hangman in the Memon execution was not nervous, Nagpur jail authorities say. He got it right and the execution was precise. He was trained at the time Kasab was to be hanged and made no mistake there either. He was not nervous when he was to carry out the execution of Memon.

A hangman has a lot to digest before carrying out an execution. He is not a cold blooded murderer like the man who stands at the gallows.

The retired hangman from Belagavi says that we may just treat it as a job, but it is very tough. It is best to look at it as a service and we are obeying the orders of the court which had sentenced a brutal killer to death.

The execution is never an easy job. The person on the death row may be a very hardened criminal, but we need to ensure that he undergoes no pain when the execution is carried out.

Moreover, there is a great amount of precision that is involved in an execution and there can be never be any room for error. The preparations start 15 days in advance.

There are many trials with a dummy where the rope and the lever is checked.

"We need to ensure that the convict does not feel any pain while be executed. The preparation of the rope is the most difficult",  the hangman says. It needs to be strong and also ghee, soap and banana squashed is applied on it.

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