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Tenth prisoner in Tihar on death row

The last execution in Tihar was in 1989, when Indira Gandhi?s assassins were hanged, reports Tushar Srivastava.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 02:53 IST

Santosh Kumar Singh, convicted of raping and killing Priyadarshani Mattoo, became the tenth prisoner at the Capital’s Tihar Jail to be sentenced to death.

Jail officials said that except Mohammed Afzal and Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, whose mercy petitions are pending before the President, the cases of all others are at different stages of appeal either in the Supreme Court or in the High Court.

Afzal was convicted in the Parliament attack case while Bhullar was sentenced for an attempt on the life of Maninderjit Singh Bitta.

Others at Tihar who have been sentenced to death include Sushil Sharma, who murdered his wife Naina Sahni, cut her into pieces and then burnt her body in a tandoor. He was sentenced to death on November 7, 2003. Sharma has appealed in the High Court.

Also on the list is Mohammed Arif alias Ashfaq, the prime accused in the Red Fort attack case. A city court sentenced Ashfaq to death in October last year. His appeal is pending in the High Court. Another name on the list is Hathbir. He was convicted of killing a family and his case is also in appeal.

According to the Prison Statistics of India, there are 333 convicts sentenced to death. Fifty-six of them have been given death sentence in the past nine months. At least 20 clemency petitions are pending with the President.

In the past five days alone, two persons have been sentenced to death for rape and murder. These include serial killer Umesh Reddy, who was sentenced to death on October 26.

In September, two sisters, Renuka Kiran Shinde and Seema Mohan Gavit, were sentenced to death on the charge of killing 13 children, though only five of the murders could be proved.

The Supreme Court upheld their death sentences. The last execution in Tihar was in 1989 when Indira Gandhi’s assassins, Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, were hanged.

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First Published: Oct 31, 2006 02:53 IST