Capital punishment usually involves the noose. A very strong rope is placed around the neck of the convicted criminals with which they are hanged till death.
But did you know that the rope used for hanging convicted criminals in India comes from only one place? Yes, the special rope is made in Bihar’s Buxar Jail only!
It is called Manila rope and is made by the inmates of Buxar Jail only when the government asks for the supply of the ropes for hanging convicts on death row.
The ropes got their name in Philippines because they are made from a type of fiber obtained from the leaves of the abacá tree that grows in the island nation. That fiber is called Manila hemp.
It is used for various purposes including as ship lines and fishing nets because of its strong resistance to salt water.
The Manila rope made in Buxar Jail is, however, not made from the Manila hemp; it is made from J-34 cotton.
But why is it that Buxar jail is the only place where they make Manila rope?
The reason is partly geographic. The jail is located on the banks of river Ganga making it extremely humid on normal days.
Humidity is very essential for making the rope. Humid conditions make the rope smoother yet stronger, which is a necessity since it would be used to hold a body mid-air for a few seconds without snapping.
Prisoners work in the humid conditions and apply the twist and torque technique to make this rope.
The jail authorities order the rope’s making only after it is sought for hanging. Before making the rope, details related to physical features such as height and weight of the one to be executed are taken.
The rope has to be 1.6 times the height of the convict and heavy enough to ensure that it can withstand the weight of the body.
Buxar Jail has been making the Manila rope since 1930s, when the country was under the British rule. The same rope was used to hang 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Nirbhaya’s rapists, too, will be hanged with this rope.