CALCUTTA, India — A man convicted of raping and murdering a schoolgirl will be hanged Saturday, India’s first execution in 13 years, a state minister said Tuesday.
“There is no legal hurdle left now in hanging Dhananjoy Chatterjee,” said Biswanath Chowhudry, minister in charge of jails in West Bengal state. “The execution has been fixed for 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 14.”
Chatterjee, 39, was convicted of raping and smothering Hetal Parekh in a Calcutta apartment where the 14-year-old teenager lived. Chatterjee, who worked there as a security guard, was sentenced in 1994 and the Supreme Court rejected his appeal.
He had been scheduled to be hanged June 25, but a last-minute plea to the Indian president delayed his execution. Chatterjee asked President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to commute his sentence to life imprisonment. Kalam agreed to consider the plea, but rejected it last week after holding consultations.
The hanging will take place inside a Calcutta jail where Chatterjee is being held, Inspector General of Police Joydeb Chakraborty said.
The case had become a rallying point for activists campaigning for the abolition of capital punishment in India. The nation’s last executions took place in 1991, when two men were hanged for murder.
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