Death penalty: Praveen from Puttur awaits President's decision on mercy plea
Daijiworld Media Network - Puttur
Puttur, Feb 15: Those who remember the barbaric killing of four members of a family in Vamnjoor way back in 1994 may well be aware of the name of Praveen Kumar Sappaliga from Puttur, who was sentenced to death for the heinous crime.
Praveen Kumar had brutally murdered four persons of a family, including three women, in Vamanjoor on the night of February 23-24, 1994. The victims were Appi Sherigarthy, her daughter Shakunthala, granddaughter Deepika and Appi Sherigarthy’s son Govinda. The Mangalore sessions court had convicted Praveen Kumar and awarded him death sentence in the year 2002 and the Karnataka high court had upheld the death penalty on October 28, 2003.
Praveen applied for mercy petition with the President of India in the year 2005, but the decision has not been taken so far.
However, two high profile hangings of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru within a span of three months have sent shivers among convicts in several central jails of states whose mercy petitions are pending before the President.
Pranab Mukherjee made headlines after approving the death penalty for Pakistan terrorist Kasab as well as Indian parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Praveen Kumar Sappaliga from Periadka, Puttur along with 8 other convicts are in Belgaum's famous Hindalga jail since 2005.
The petitions of the nine inmates of Hindalga jail who are facing death penalties have now reached the union home ministry, which is expected to send the file to president Pranab Mukerjee in a few days.
If the mercy plea is granted, all the inmates will be spending their lives in Hindalga jail. If not, they will meet the same fate as Kasab and Guru.
It may be recalled that Pranab Mukherjee recently rejected the mercy plea of four Veerappan aides who were invloved in Palar bombing which killed 22 people. These four criminals are also in Belgaum's Hindalga jail.
Four aides of slain forest brigand Veerappan - Simon (son of Anthonyappa), Bilavendran (son of Marrisgouda), Gyanprakash (son of Joseph from Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district) and Madaiah alias Meesekar from Mettur in Tamil Nadu filed their mercy pleas on February 12, 2004. Shivu (son of Munishetty) and Jadeswamy (son of Rangashetty) from Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district submitted their petitions on February 28, 2007.
The Hindalga prison is the only one in the state that has the facility for hanging those on the death row. The last execution was carried out in the prison in November 1983, when murder convict Hanumanth was hanged. Official sources said the prison here houses 60 death sentence convicts and nine of them (including Natikar) had filed mercy petitions before the President. The appeals of the others are pending in the Supreme Court and the High Court of Karnataka.