Death Row:After Dhananjoy, Kasab, who will face the gallows?

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New Delhi, Nov 23: Before Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, the last execution in the country took place on Aug 14, 2004 when a child rape accused Dhananjoy Chatterjee was executed. The gap between the two execution was almost eight years. Since 1995, it has been used only three times, on Auto Shankar in 1995, Dhananjoy Chatterjee in 2004 and Ajmal Kasab in 2012.

Now, who will be the next death row convict to be hanged in India? Just after Kasab's hanging, many including leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started demanding execution of Afzal Guru. Afzal Guru is a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist convicted of the Dec 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on Oct 20, 2006. Afzal was given a stay of execution and remains on death row.

Kasab was hanged till death at Yerwada jail in Pune around 7.30 am on Wednesday, Nov 21. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil confirmed the news on Wednesday morning.

The hanging of Kasab came a day after India voted against abolishing the death penalty in the UN General Assembly. The resolution, passed in the general assembly's Third Committee on Monday, got 110 votes in favour while 39 countries voted against it and 36 abstained. India was among the countries that voted against the resolution. In opposing the resolution, India had said that each state has the right to determine its legal system and to punish criminals as per its laws. "In India, the death penalty is exercised in the 'rarest of rare' cases, where the crime committed is so heinous as to shock the conscience of society."

According to Amnesty International, the five countries with highest executions in the last four years (2007-2011) are Iran (1663), Saudi Arabia (423), Iraq (256), United States (220) and Pakistan (171).

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