50 Naxals go on hunger strike to protest against Yakub Memon's hanging
Nagpur: Around 50 Naxalites have gone on hunger strike in Nagpur Central Jail to protest against the hanging of Yakub Memon.
Work in progress at the Nagpur Central Jail. If Yakub Memon’s hanging takes place in the Nagpur jail, it’ll be the 24th hanging there since Independence.
The Naxals, who claimed they are against the very concept of capital punishment, had been protesting for nearly three days and went on a hunger strike last morning. Jail authorities said that they had, however, managed to convince them to start eating by last evening.
If the hanging takes place in the Nagpur jail, it will be the 24th hanging there since Independence. “The last people to be hanged in Nagpur were the Wankhede brothers from Amravati, who were serial killers and were hanged in 1984,” said a jail officer, adding that preparations are on for Yakub’s execution.
Jail authorities have asked the public works department (PWD) to construct a shed and renovate portions of the gallows, including the platform where the prisoner stands. They said three ropes to hang Yakub, two of which are back-ups in case the first one breaks, have also arrived from Buxar in Bihar.
With DIG Swati Sathe giving up the additional charge of the Nagpur jail, DIG (Prisons) Rajendra Dhamane visited Nagpur jail and took a review of the proceedings from superintendent Yogesh Desai, who also oversaw the hanging of Ajmal Qasab.
Sources told mid-day that Yakub has been kept in a separate cell (faasi cell) since July 21, the day the Supreme Court rejected his curative petition.
“In this cell, he is alone and we don’t give him anything with which he can harm himself. When he was told about the rejection, he was nervous initially. He did not have food and was also having problems sleeping, but now he takes sleeping pills," said a jail officer.
To guard against possible terror strikes, the authorities have deployed heavy security outside the jail. Nearly 15 constables man the entrance and vehicles entering the premises are checked thoroughly.