On Hindalga death row, the wait is lonely and unending

Last execution in the prison was 27 years ago

On Hindalga death row, the  wait is lonely and unending

The wait for the those on the death row at the Central Prison at Hindalga here, who include 38 of the 42 condemned prisoners of Karnataka, has been 10 to 15 years since they have been sentenced. Those on death row include four associates of forest brigand Veerappan and 11 convicts of bomb blasts about eight to ten years ago.

Of the 38 condemned prisoners, mercy petitions of six, including the associates of Veerappan, have been pending with the President of India since 2004, two with the Karnataka Governor, appeals of 20 in Karnataka High Court, one in the Supreme Court and nine in the Dharwad circuit bench of the High Court.

The prison, built by the British in 1923, has three gallows and three persons can be hanged simultaneously. The last execution in the prison was in 1983 when Hanumant Malla, convicted of five murders, was hanged.  Prison superintendent Lingaraj told Deccan Herald that he has not seen or witnessed a single execution in his 35 years of service at various jails in the State.

He said the death row inmates were allowed to move freely in an enclosure around the cells from morning 6.30 am to 8 am, from 10 am to noon and 4 pm to 6.30 pm. All of them are hale and healthy. They are provided with newspapers and books.

The condemned prisoners include Veerappan associates Simon (40), Jnanaprakash (42), Meesekkara Madaiah (55) and Bilvendra (51). Others include the convicts of bomb blasts in Hyderabad and Bangalore—Sayyad Mohammad (45), Shaikh Hasim Ali (30), Sayyad Hassan (57), Abudul Rehman (53), A Husain Mulla (59), Ijahar Beg (34), Mohammad Saruddin (39), Mohammad Khadir (30), Sayyad Muniruddin (44), Sayyad Abbas Ali (28) and Mohammad Chandpasha (28). The prison houses 857 inmates, including 388 undertrials. It has 40 women,  17 convicts and 23 undertrials.

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