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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 03:22 GMT 04:22 UK
Villagers mourn hanged Indian convict
By Kalpana Pradhan
Correspondent in Bankura, West Bengal

Residents of the eastern Indian village where executed convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee was born are wearing black badges to mourn his death.

"This is a black day in our village. We will wear badges to observe this," a friend of the convict's family and local leader Prabhat Chatterjee said.

Members of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) stage a silent protest outside the prison where  Chatterjee was executed
Protesters held a vigil outside the prison
At least 30 policemen are keeping a close watch on the convict's home, where his parents had threatened to commit suicide if their son was executed.

The convict's 76-year-old father, Bangshidhar, and 70-year-old mother Belarani, are with their two other sons, a daughter and their grandchildren at the family home in Bankura, some 240km (149 miles) from Calcutta.

Loud wailing was heard from the home when assembled reporters broke the news of the hanging to the family on a rainy Saturday morning.

The family did not receive any information from the state government for least three hours after the execution.

"I am finished. I have gone bankrupt fighting my son's case," said Bangshidhar Chatterjee, a Hindu priest.

The convict's mother, Purnima, wept and recounted her son's childhood.

"He was a quiet boy. Now I have lost him," she said.

Their house has been cordoned off by policemen to prevent the family from carrying out their threat.

Policewomen have been posted inside the home to counsel Chatterjee's parents.

'He was framed'

Three doctors have been checking the family's health, trying to make sure they eat properly.

Ambulances are outside the house in case any family member falls ill.

Some distance away, the home of the convict's wife, Purnima, was locked. Neighbours said some relatives had taken her away to keep her away from reporters.

Villagers said they were fully supportive of Chatterjee's family in their time of grief.

"We will look after them. But we also feel that Dhananjoy was framed because he was a poor man," said a family friend Gouranga Kumbhakar.

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