Punjab to Witness 40 more Hangings of Death-Row Convicts
LAHORE: As many as 215 convicts, including 15 dreaded terrorists, have been executed in Punjab since the lifting of the moratorium on the capital punishment in December 2014, and around 40 more are likely to be hanged to death in near future.
According to sources on Sunday, every week the province was receiving intimation from the interior ministry about the rejection of mercy appeals of 30 to 40 convicts.
“Yes, the pace has been accelerated under the National Action Plan (NAP) in the aftermath of the Peshawar Army School attack and the lifting of the moratorium on death as a result,” an official said.
According to sources, black warrants for nearly 40 convicts have been issued. Dates of the execution of some of them have also been fixed. And procedure for the fixation of the hanging date of the rest of them has been duly started. All of them are likely to be executed in different Punjab jails the next week, sources say.
They said all of these condemned prisoners were convicted for murder, murder for ransom, kidnapping and other heinous crime tried by anti-terrorism courts.
Sources said out of the 24 hardcore terrorists who were awarded death sentence, 15 had been executed after the rejection of their mercy appeals by the president since January this year. The remaining terrorists were convicted by the military courts and they had filed petitions in the Supreme Court on different grounds against their conviction. The nine included those who had allegedly attacked a National Bank branch in Rawalpindi in 2007.
The mercy petitions of those who are awarded death sentence are sent to the interior ministry through the superintendents of jails where they are kept. The ministry forwards the petitions to the president through the office of the prime minister. The rejected mercy petitions are returned to the province concerned through express letters following which they (the provinces) adopt the legal procedure for their execution.
Meanwhile, the record of the anti-terrorism courts in Punjab indicates that the courts have since January this year announced convictions in 266 cases tried by them. The number of convicted persons in these cases is 424. As many as 58 convicts have been awarded death sentence and 60 life imprisonment.
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