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Godse to Nirbhaya rapists – Why all convicts get hanged by ropes made in Bihar’s Buxar Jail?


Radhika Dhawad | Mar 20, 2020 10:51

Nathuram Godse to Nirbhaya rapists – Why all convicts get hanged by ropes made in Bihar’s Buxar Jail?

Justice was delayed but not denied. All the four convicts of the gruesome Nirbhaya rape and murder case – Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh were finally hanged to death at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail at 5:30 am today.

The hanging ropes for all four convicts were ready and were handed over to Tihar Jail authorities since months. What makes these hanging ropes or noose so distinctive? Only Bihar’s Buxar Central Jail makes these hanging ropes in India. Only four convicts have been hanged in the last 20 years in our country. Last time the Buxar Jail provided a hanging rope was for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013.

Convicts who were hanged using Buxar Jail’s ropes

The Buxar Jail is the only jail in the country that holds monopoly in manufacturing hanging ropes for death row convicts. Right from Mahatma Gandhi’s assassinator Nathuram Godse, who was hanged in November 1949 to Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, 1993 bomb blast convict Yakub Memon, 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab to 2012 Nirbhaya convicts, Buxar Jail enjoyed the monopoly in the country by supplying hanging ropes for all the above convicts’ death penalties.

Buxar Jail’s history

British rulers in 1880 established the jail and in 1884 they brought a machine in the jail to manufacture hanging ropes. Prior to 1884, Philippines’ capital Manila used to export hanging ropes to India that led to the term – Manila Ropes. Soon due to the Indian Factories Act, Buxar Jail got the exclusive right to manufacture hanging ropes in India as a result others were prohibited to manufacture the same.

How is the hanging rope different from regular ropes?

Unlike regular ropes, hanging ropes are very soft yet strong. The Britishers due to the weather and availability of water near the jail at that time gave the prisoners the exclusive right to prepare hanging ropes that required a lot of water. The river water was used for softening the hanging ropes. Typically the hanging ropes that weigh around 1.5 kg costs Rs 2120.

 How these hanging ropes are made

Earlier, a specific kind of yarn known as J-34, cotton for which was cultivated in Punjab, was used to make these hanging ropes in the jail. Today instead of raw cotton, Punjab provides processed yarn for making the hanging ropes. As it was situated on the banks of Ganga, the quality of cotton had the right amount of moisture that was required for making these hanging ropes.

There is a specific formula for making the hanging rope. Employees designated for the purpose oversee it. As per a report in India Today, “J-34 fibres are braided into yarns, 154 such yarns are woven to prepare 154 braids. Six such braids are used to make rope. A lot of water is used at every stage to make sure that hanging rope is soft. The rule of execution says that the hanging rope has to cause death of the condemned person but cannot inflict any injury on the neck. It is ascertained in the post-mortem of the body.”

Mostly, senior jail inmates who are serving life sentences are asked to prepare the ropes. It is ensured that convicts on death row are not involved in making these ropes.

Also read: Here’s how Nirbhaya’s rapists spent their final hours before getting hanged