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No rape convict hanged in last 15 years in India even as people seek death penalty for rapists

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: Even as there is a growing demand for capital punishment for rape convicts, the reality is that death penalty is a rarity in India.

Just 3 Indians have been hanged in the last two decades and the last rape convict was executed 15 years ago. Since, then there has been no hanging in cases of rapes in the country.

The figure of rapes recorded in India is in lakhs in this period, yet, there has been not a single instance of hanging a rapist, since 2004. There is definitely anger in the society due to incidents of rapes and sexual violence. 

In all, 32,559 cases of rapes were registered in India in the year 2017, reveals the NCRB report. In 93% cases, the accused were known to victims, they were either family friend, employer, neighbour or other known person(s).

After every incident of rape and murder, there are demands for more tough laws. Still, even after Nirbhaya's case, incidents of rapes continue unabated. In states, politicians announced that there would death penalty for rape with minors. 

However, the truth is that the figure of rapes in India is so high and practically death penalty is not possible either. After all, nobody is getting hanged for rapes for many many years now. Those hanged in India in the last 15 were involved in cases of terror or natinal security. 

In 2004, Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged for rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in West Bengal. Apart from Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani, two more Indians were hanged in the last two decades--Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon. But there has been no hanging at all since 2015.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.