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President has taken right decision: Principal

Gillian Rosemary D'Costa Hart, principal of the school where Hetal Paresh studied, said President A P J Abdul Kalam had taken the right decision by rejecting the mercy petition of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, sentenced to death for raping and murdering the 14-year-old student.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON AUG 04, 2004 09:38 PM IST

Gillian Rosemary D'Costa Hart, the principal of the school where Hetal Paresh studied, on Wednesday said President A P J Abdul Kalam had taken the right decision by rejecting the mercy petition of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, sentenced to death for raping and murdering the 14-year-old student, and hoped the matter would now be put to rest.

"The President in his wisdom has taken the right decision. We all are relieved. It is said that justice delayed is justice denied, but in this case justice has been meted out. Hetal's soul will now rest in peace," D'Costa Hart said in Kolkata.

To a question that the NGO Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) might again approach the apex court, she said, "if it is so, it will prolong the mental torture for Dhananjoy in jail. The matter should be put to rest."

When asked about the debate against capital punishment, D'Costa Hart said she was not for capital punishment per se, but in certain cases like this when a double crime was committed, it was necessary.

"There has to be some deterrent. The rapists will think twice before committing such a crime in future. Hetal was a innocent and young girl. She was raped and killed." 

"My religion is also against the death penalty, but there is a difference between religion and law. When law-makers had made the law they had kept the provision for capital punishment. Now it was upto them to take a decision on this," D'Costa Hart said.

She said she felt sorry for the family of Dhananjoy, but he had received the punishment he deserved for the heinous crime. "We sympathise with his family."

Parekh, who was a class VII student of Welland Goldsmith School in Bowbazar area of the city, was raped and killed by Chatterjee in 1990 at her residence.

The clemency petition of 43-year-old Chatterjee, who was a lift-operator at the housing complex where Parekh lived, was rejected by the President last night and sent to the Union Home Ministry for communicating to West Bengal government for carrying out the sentence.

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