Rope made by Buxar Central Jail prisoners hangs Guru

Patna, Feb. 9: A manila rope made by inmates of Buxar Central Jail, around 120km west of the capital, was today used to hang Mohammed Afzal Guru, the convict in the Parliament attack case, at Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

Senior officers of the state prisons department today confirmed that Anjani Kumar Sinha, a deputy superintendent of Tihar Jail number 3, had visited the jail in October, 2006 to take delivery of the manila rope prepared for Guru's execution. "The demand for the special rope was made around three months before Sinha's visit. He came to the Buxar jail on October 13, 2006 to check that the rope had not been tampered with," said Anand Kishor, inspector-general (prisons and correctional services).

Kishor said the order for the rope was placed with the state government after Guru's hanging was confirmed in 2005. Sinha, then posted as deputy superintendent of Tihar Jail number 3, was assigned to get the rope prepared from the Buxar jail, the only prison in the country to supply such a rope, Kishor added.

Afzal was sent to gallows today in Tihar Jail number 3. The rope for the same was, however, bought from the Buxar jail around six years ago.

The rope for the same was, however, bought from the Buxar jail in Bihar about six years ago. A senior officer, posted at the Buxar jail at that time, recalled that the 60ft rope, which weighed 3.75kg, was sold to the Tihar jail authorities for Rs 815 (at the rate of Rs 180 per kg plus VAT). He added that it took around three months to make the wax-laced rope. "The rope could easily withstand the tension caused by the fall of a man weighing up to 80kg. The rope's weight also depends on the height of the person to be hanged," he explained.

S.K. Ambastha, the superintendent of Buxar Central Jail, today said the climatic conditions around the correctional home were favourable for making the hanging rope.

"Humidity owing to the Ganga in the north and the Thora in the west of the jail is ideal for preparing the rope with J-34 cotton yarn. So Buxar jail was chosen to make the manila rope in the country," he said.

Jail superintendent Ambastha said a private agency supplied raw materials like J-34 cotton yarn to the jail. "We still have some inmates who are experts in making the rope. We have earmarked a verandah for making the rope," he said. The J-34 cotton yarn is a variety used to make the manila rope. Earlier, it used to be brought from Punjab. But now the jail authorities source it from an agency in Patna.

He claimed that the jail was able to cater to the demand of hanging rope across the country. The superintendent rued: "The demand has fallen in recent years because few people are awarded capital punishment," adding that the last time the rope was supplied was for the hanging of Dhananjoy Chatterjee, a rape and murder convict from Bengal, in 2004.

Reacting to Guru's hanging, chief minister Nitish Kumar said: "It should have taken place earlier." He said people of the country felt that the decision should have been taken much earlier. "Justice has finally prevailed and the offender punished," he added.

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