• Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
Keerthi Prakasam | The News Minute | July 20, 2014 | 6:26 PM IST   Traditionally the executioner who hangs death convicts in Kerala, locally known as “aarachar” was given Rs. 500 per execution. But the dearth of people who are willing to join as executioners has become a big headache for the government. A desperate Kerala government has now announced it will soon be offering Rs 2 lakh to anyone who comes forward to hang a death convict. The government hopes that with this new “offer” more people will come forward to do the job, which right now has no takers. Earlier there were families who used to carry this on as a traditional occupation, but off late nonone has been willing to play the role of an executioner, a job that is considered mentally depressing. But what exactly is the crisis?  A report in Mathrubhumi News, says that the last known execution in the state took place in 1992 in Kannur Central Jail. The report says that the police had put in “a lot of effort” to convince a half-hearted man to carry out the hanging. The state government’s crisis stems from the fact that there are 16 death row convicts in Kerala’s prisons, who are “yet to be hanged”. Rules and how they will change>> As per current rules, the identity of the executioner cannot be revealed at any cost. When the new rule comes into effect, any person, even someone from within the police department can volunteer to do the “task”. Another interesting addition to the rule is that a person or a group can come forward to carry out the hanging; the amount will be divided equally.  Some reports also suggest that this amount will be “audit-free”.  Other additions that will come into effect due to the new rule include using a new rope for every hanging. Earlier a single “strong” rope was used for every execution, but from now on a new rope will be bought according to the weight of each prisoner. Another peculiar addition- Earlier the corpse of the convict could be removed from the hanging rope once the Medical Officer confirmed that he is dead. But now, the body will supposedly hang on the rope for an hour, to absorb the whole meaning of the phrase “death by hanging”.  In case, a body is not claimed by anyone, the new rule says it should be cremated inside the jail compound.  The government has come up with this lump sum amount, hoping that money will resolve its crisis