Kasab first foreign terrorist to be hanged at Yerawada

Last execution was of Amrutlal Joshi in 1996

Execution is not new to Yerawada Central Prison that has seen a number of high-profile executions over decades. What remains a first in Ajmal Kasab's execution is the fact that he is the first non-Indian terrorist to have been executed in the country and the jail.

The last execution carried out in the jail was in 1996 when Amrutlal Joshi was hanged for murdering five members of a family in Thane. "Kasab is the first non-Indian to be hanged in the country. Rajiv Gandhi's assassins were non- Indians but then they are yet to be executed," said a noted lawyer, who did not wish to be named.

Some of the most notable executions in the Yerawada Central Jail also include hanging of Sukhdev Singh, Sukha, and Harjinder Singh, Jinda, assassins of General Arun Kumar Vaidya, on October 9, 1992. They killed retired Chief of Army Staff as he led the Indian Army during Operation Blue Star. There have been mentions that the two shouted for Sikh independence in Punjab. The two were executed at 4 am as tight security was maintained outside the Yerawada Jail to avoid any possible religious outburst in the periphery of the jail.

Another execution that sends shivers is of Rajendra Jakkal, Dilip Dhyanoba Sutar, Shantaram Kanhoji Jagtap and Munawar Harun Shah in the infamous Joshi-Abhyankar murder trial. The four were hanged till death on November 27, 1983, for serial murders in the city between January 1976 and March 1977.

A notable execution prior to independence which finds place in the history of armed struggle for independence is that of Chaphekar brothers Damodar Hari, Balkrishna Hari and Vasudeo Hari Chaphekar. Chaphekar brothers were hanged in May 1899 for assassinating W C Rand, chairman of Special Plague Committee and his military escort Lt Ayerst. A quick search yields that one Malti Malapa Balseti, Jagan Nath, C Shinde, Krishan Sharda, Abdul Russul, Qurban Hussain were hanged in Yerawada Jail on January 12, 1931. They were accused in Martial Law during Salt Satyagraha.

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