VISAKHAPATNAM: There are 14 prisoners on the death row in Andhra Pradesh but there is no hangman in any of state’s central prisons.
The prisoners’ appeals against capital punishment are pending at various levels in courts. It could take years before a final verdict is out.

Andhra Pradesh has four central prisons, located at Vizag city, Rajahmundry, Nellore, and Kadapa. Though the prisons were modernised, they have no facility for hanging convicts because the state has not come across such cases for a long time, and gallows are absent in all the prisons. Vizag and Rajahmundry jails had hanging facilities in the past.
Prisons and correctional services department deputy inspector general (Rajahmundry) MR Ravi Kiran said the last hanging in Andhra Pradesh happened at Rajahmundry jail (the oldest in AP) in February 1976.
One Nambi Kistappa of Anantapur was executed in connection with a murder case. Jail records bear out this. Kistappa wanted to eat laddus.
Considering as rarest of rare cases, a special court in Prakasam district in 2022 awarded death sentence to Dudekula Sidhaiah (30), a native of Ambavaram, near Giddaluru for sexual assault and murder of a seven-year-old girl. It is the latest death penalty in Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh stood fourth in country where maximum number of death sentences (13) was awarded in 2021.
Interestingly, of the 13 persons who were awarded death penalty in AP in 2021, 12 belonged to a gang involved in highway murders. The court in Ongole of Prakasam district awarded death sentence to dreaded gangster and serial highway killer Md Abdul Samad alias Munna Bhai and 11 of his accomplices who were found guilty of dacoity and murder in three cases, in 2021.
When a death sentence is awarded to a convict, either in a murder or a rape case, there is a long-drawn process ahead as the convict will go on appeal. Generally, a presidential pardon is sought. The procedure takes a long time. There is no hangman in Andhra Pradesh. The execution of hanging requires special arrangements by the jail staff, including preparing the rope matching the inmate’s weight, presence of medical staff and few others, said Dr Indla Sreenivasa Rao, inspector general of prisons in Andhra Pradesh.
Officials said their department is prepared to construct makeshift gallows to hang convicts if their death sentences get confirmed.
As for a hangman, the department will get one from another state on deputation, they added.

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