Dhananjoy Chatterjee, a security guard in Kolkata, was hanged on the charges of raping and murdering a 14 year-old girl (Photo Credit: Video Grab)
A Delhi Court on Tuesday issued death warrants against four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case. According to the warrant, the four convicts will be hanged till death on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar jail. While Akshay Thakur Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma still have the option of mecry pleas and curative petitions, it seems more and more likely that India will see its first execution in case of rape and murder in last 15 years.
In 2004, Dhananjoy Chatterjee, a security guard in Kolkata, was hanged on the charges of raping and murdering a 14 year-old girl. He was accused of raping and killing the teenager in her apartment on March 5, 1990. He was convicted and executed 14 years later after a lengthy trial on August 14, 2004- his 39th birthday.
Dhananjoy Chatterjee was the first person who was judicially executed in India in the 21st century. He was hanged till death in Alipore Jail of Kolkata.
Dhananjoy was a security guard of the where the girl lived. On the afternoon of 5 March 1990, she was found dead inside her home by her mother. Dhananjoy, who had performed security duty in the morning shift on that day, was not seen in the area after the murder had been discovered. Police focussed on him during the investigations and he was arrested by the police from his village on 12 May 1990.
Kolkata police charged him with rape, murder and theft of a wrist watch. While the case was based on circumstantial evidence, the sessions court convicted Dhananjoy of all the offenses and sentenced him to death. The Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court of India upheld the conviction and the death sentence.
Dhananjoy's execution was scheduled on 25 June 2004 but was stayed after his family petitioned the Supreme Court of India, and filed a mercy plea with the then President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The mercy plea was finally rejected by the president on 4 August 2004. He was executed on 14 August 2004. His family refused to claim his body and he was was later cremated.
Dhananjoy maintained his innocence during his trial and till the day of his execution.