Even as there is provision for capital punishment under the POCSO Act and IPC, during the last 25 years, not a single convict is hanged to death in Odisha.
The last capital punishment given effect in the state was in 1994. Laxman Nayak of Mayurbhanj district who killed his own 9-year-old niece in a drunken state after committing rape was found guilty by the Mayurbhanj Sessions Court which was upheld in higher courts, He was last convict to be hanged to death in Odisha.
As there was no hangman available in the State, a person from Maharashtra was hired for the purpose. And hanging was executed inside Berhampur jail.
It is pertinent to mention here that Sahid Laxman Nayak a renowned freedom fighter from undivided Koraput district was implicated in a false case and was awarded capital punishment. And Sahid Laxman Nayak was hanged in Berhampur jail in the year 1943.
There was also a provision of gallows in Bolangir jail. Ujjwal Sai brother of legendary fighter Veer Surendra Sai was hanged in Bolangir jail.Now, gallows are available only in Berhampur Jail and authorities are also maintaining the same though there is no hangman available in the state.
Killers of much-hyped Chhabi Rani rape and Parshuram Satpathy murder cases escaped from the gallows though other punishments are awarded to them.
In view of the rising graph of crime against girl children, Union Government has brought the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act with rigorous punishment provisions including Capital Punishment. There is also, provision for hanging in IPC for certain crimes like murder.
Though thousands of rape and murder cases are reported during the last 25 years no one is hanged to death in Odisha after 1994.
Of course, in several cases of rape and murder Sessions Judges of different Districts, have awarded death penalties during these years. However, such punishments are yet to be executed due to different reasons.
After the barbaric incidents in Delhi and Telangana, voices have been raised from different forums to send the rapists to gallows.
However, as per official statistics, in heinous crime like rape percentage of conviction in Odisha is about 18 only.
As per the latest report of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), rate of conviction in cases relating to crime against women in Odisha is only 7.4 percent whereas it is 9.8 percent in case of crime against children and 9.3 percent in IPC related crimes.