Arjun Jadhav, the state’s last hangman, died after a brief illness at the civil hospital in Solapur on Monday night without fulfilling his last wish: to hang Ajmal Amir Qasab.
In an exclusive interview to MiD DAY in May 2010, Jadhav, known as the ‘Phasi Man’, had expressed his desire to execute Qasab. His daughter Durga said Jadhav (77) was shifted to City Hospital after he complained of uneasiness four to five days ago.
“He pleaded with doctors there to make him well again as he was sure that the state government would require his services when the time came to hang Qasab,” she said. “Doctors there had sounded us off that his health was fast deteriorating.”
Sangeet Kasabe, Jadhav’s son-in-law, said the retired hangman’s condition worsened on Monday evening and at 8.30 pm he was declared dead.
“He was battling illness all these days and living on the hope that the state government would require his services when the time to hang 23-year-old Ajmal Amir Qasab came,” Kasabe, who is a policeman in the traffic branch at Solapur, said.
The last rites were performed at a crematorium in his village Yavali in Mohol taluka in Solapur district on Tuesday afternoon. Jadhav had to leave Mohol after associates of a terror outfit came looking for him some years ago.
He shifted his residence to Tamalvadi in Tuljapur taluka after people from his village told him some unknown people had come asking for the address of the Phasi Man who had executed Jinda and Sukha, the two terrorists convicted of gunning down General Arunkumar Vaidya in the city.
Jadhav, who tightened the noose around 101 convicts in his 33 years of service at the Yerawada Central Jail, retired in 1996.
Living on a modest pension of Rs 4,000 after retirement, Jadhav had found it tough to meet his heavy medical expenses since suffering a paralytic stroke in 2005.